Seasoned Immigration Attorneys Serving San Diego, CA
With locations throughout Southern California, Castillo & Associates is here to help you with your immigration matter.
Regardless of the concerns you have around immigration law, an experienced San Diego immigration lawyer serving Southern California can help you. Castillo & Associates has 5 local offices including San Diego and proudly serves the communities of San Ysidro, National City, East Lake, San Diego, Spring Valley, El Cajon, San Marcos, Oceanside, Escondido, Imperial beach, La Mesa, and Bonita.
Feel free to call an experienced immigration attorney today at 1-800-497-9774 or complete the contact form and schedule your consultation today. Castillo & Associates assists with all types of immigration issues including green cards, immigration documents and more.
Obtaining permanent residence status in the U.S. is not always easy, but with an experienced immigration attorney, the process can be streamlined and increase your chances of a successful application. Castillo & Associates understand the problems that you encounter when working to remain in the U.S. Times are more uncertain now with regards to immigration and laws are changing. Castillo & Associates works diligently to ensure your rights are protected and avoid a family separation. Castillo & Associates is well versed in working with clients on their immigration and legal status involving countries such as: Africa, Asia, Canada, Central America, the Middle East, Mexico, and South America.
Castillo & Associates has experience in handling a wide range of immigration matters, including:
- Consular Processing
- Permanent Residence
- Petition for Alien Fiancé
- Affidavit of Support forms
- Petition for Alien Relative
- Green Card & Work Permits
- Application for Naturalization
- Petition for Special Immigrant (Wava)
- Application for Certificate of Citizenship
- Application for Employment Authorization
- Petition to Remove Condition of Residence
- Application Supplement A under Section 245i
- Application to Request Permanent Resident Card
- Waiver Application of grounds of inadmissibility
- Application for Citizenship and issuance of Certificate
- Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver
- Legal Permanent Residency based on Close-Relative Relationships
- Application for an Action on an Approved Application or Petition
- DACA – Deferred Action for Dreamers (Initial applications and renewal requests)
- Petition for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document
- Application to Register Permanent Resident Status or Adjustment of Status
- Petition for Replacement or Initial Nonimmigrant U.S. Arrival- Departure Records
Why Hire a Local Immigration Attorney in San Diego
The immigration process can be literally life-changing and it has the potential to impact a person’s life and his or her family for many generations. The United States immigration system is notoriously complex, seen by many as only second in complexity to the federal tax code. What further complicates the law are:
- The recurring changes in the law. For the most part, there are new and significant changes to immigration law every year.
- The recurring changes in the immigration process. Immigration service is constantly evolving and the procedures are revised frequently. With these new changes, there are often changes in the number of forms to be submitted, added fees, new dates to follow, and added filing instructions.
- The federal government can find it difficult to manage the frequent changes. At times, the forms will not have current instructions. Also federal immigration services workers may provide applicants with incomplete or inaccurate advice.
- The forms provided to an applicant can be confusing and they may also require conclusions only an experienced immigration attorney can provide.
When it comes to your immigration process, avoid making a mistake in your application that can set you back for many years. Speak to a local San Diego immigration attorney who can save you time, money and unnecessary stress.
A Brief Overview of R-1 Visas – Foreign Religious Workers
An R-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign national to arrive in the United States for a limited time to be employed for at least 20 hours a week. The nonimmigrant must be employed by a bona fide not-for-profit religious organization in the country (or bona fide institution that is affiliated with a religious denomination in the country) to be employed as a minister or another type of religious worker.
Common examples of religious workers can include, but are not limited to:
- Nuns; and
- Religious brothers and sisters.
R-1 Visa Eligibility
In order to qualify to work as a religious employee, the foreign national has to arrive in the United States only on a temporary basis and be employed for at least part-time, which is an average of 20 hours per week) by the bonafide not-for-profit religious organization (or the bona fide organization that is affiliated with a religious denomination) to be employed as a minister or other form of a religious worker.
Documents Required to Petition for an R-1 Visa
When petitioning for an R-1 visa, the following must be submitted:
- A current determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the employing religious organization’s tax-exempt status;
- An Employer Attestation, a part of the R-1 Classification Supplement to Form I-129;
- Verifiable evidence of how the worker will be compensated, which should include salaried or non-salaried compensation;
- Proof that the foreign worker has been a member of the denomination during a minimum of two years immediately before the filing of the petition for the R-1 visa; and
- Proof that the foreign worker is qualified to perform the duties presented to him or her by the position.
In the event that the foreign worker is seeking to fill the position of minister, the worker will need to provide a certificate of ordination, including proof that he or she meets the qualifications needed to be a minister of the religious denomination.
It is important to highlight that an R-1 visa can be denied or rejected when supporting documents or required evidence is not submitted. All required documentation should be submitted with the initial application.
The Process of Filing for an R-1 Visa
The petition process for an R-1 visa includes the religious organization filing of Form I-129, including attestation. The process will also require:
- An IRS valid determination letter regarding the organization’s tax-exempt status;
- The Employer Attestation, as part of the R-1 Classification Supplement to Form I-129;
- Provable evidence of how the organization intends to compensate the worker, which should include salaried as well as non-salaried compensation;
- Proof that the worker has been a practicing member of the religious denomination for at least two years before the petition was filed; and
- Proof that establishes the foreign worker is indeed qualified to perform the duties of the position.
When the foreign worker is seeking to fill the position of minister, the worker must then provide a certification of ordination, including proof that the worker meets the requirements to perform the role of the minister in the religious denomination.
Expected Costs to Petition for an R-1 Visa
The cost of an R-1 visa can vary depending on a number of circumstances. For the most part, the R-1 visa will include the following costs;
- Approximately $460 for the I-129 Form;
- Approximately $1,500 for the I-907 Form; and/or
- Approximately $190 for the DS-160 Form, which is the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Fee.
Expected Processing Time
The R-1 visa can be processed at a variety of speeds, which will depend on the circumstances. For a more accurate estimate, visit the USCIS Processing Times website for the most current information.
Premium Processing is Available
For most R-1 visa petitions, premium processing can be available. This service, however, may only be available for the petitioning employer who has previously and successfully completed the on-site inspection. For more information regarding premium processing, visit the USCIS website.
The R-1 petition can be approved for the initial stay of up to 30 months. The maximum stay allowed under the R-1 visa status is five years.
Any time spent out of the country during the five-year period will not be counted toward the maximum allowed stay. This can be added back or recaptured.
The R-1 visa status may be extended in increments of 30 months for a maximum of five years. Foreign workers cannot stay under the R-1 status for more than five years. A worker who stays for more than the allowable time may be barred from coming back into the country or he or she could face deportation.
Certain family members accompanying an R-1 minister or other religious workers may be eligible for admission into the country under the R-2 visa. Eligible family members may stay for as long as the R-1 religious worker remains in the country.
R-2 visa dependents are not permitted to apply for work authorization. These eligible family members are not permitted to accept any form of employment.
R-1 Visa On-Site Inspections
The USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security conduct an on-site investigation of all R-1 visa petitions. The investigation is used to determine whether the application is fraudulent or if there is any technical violation of the rules and regulations.
Fighting to Prevent Immigrant Family Separations, Since 1999
Immigrant families not only deserve legal protection, they also deserve to remain together. The passionate immigration attorneys at Castillo & Associates work relentlessly to help clients win lawful immigration status along with other legal resident programs. In addition, the skilled law firm will leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping immigrant families remain together in the country. Castillo & Associates is skilled in challenging every immigration rejection in a court of law.
Clients of Castillo & Associates, can rest assured that the law firm will protect their rights from the onset. The law firm is well-aware that the future of foreign workers and that of their loved ones will depend on the efforts accomplished together. For this reason, Castillo & Associates will work to ensure a fortified case is built that will help keep families together. The dedicated attorneys at Castillo & Associates continually advance their knowledge and expertise in immigration law cases. The law firm is kept informed of the ever-changing immigration laws to better represent the needs of their clients.
Castillo & Associates takes pride in helping clients and their families remain together. Castillo & Associates has established a reputation of successful cases by working together with their clients. The fervent law firm takes the time needed to understand each one of their clients, their family members, and the situations which make them unique. The law firm will take the time to learn more about what each client hopes for and what they aspire to accomplish with a successful case. Moreover, the law firm will seek to understand what makes each client passionate about living in the United States and the reasoning behind their wish to remain in the county. By fully understanding each client, the proficient attorneys at Castillo & Associates will have an advantage when challenging a deportation process or to advance a residency claim effectively. For Castillo & Associates, no two cases are the same.
Foreign Workers are Critical to the Functioning of the United States
At Castillo & Associates, the law firm believes that foreign nationals are an essential part of this country. Upon arrival, foreign workers bring their talents, work ethic, culture, and passions to the country in search of bettering their lives. In return, the United States has been further enriched and it has also been shaped to be one of the most diverse countries in the world, with an abundance of cultural perspectives, drive innovation, and creativity.
In the State of California alone, one third of every essential worker is an immigrant. In our very own communities, foreign workers provide essential services to many. As such, Castillo & Associates works diligently to protect them as well as their right to live in the country and be employed. Castillo & Associates believes foreign workers have a legal right to remain in this country, and the dedicated law firm will fight to help immigrants obtain permanent residency — even when their unique situation looks bleak.
Speak to an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today
The immigration attorneys at Castillo & Associates, are very proud to represent foreign nationals and their families throughout Southern California, including the communities of San Ysidro, National City, East Lake, San Diego, Spring Valley, El Cajon, San Marcos, Oceanside, Escondido, Imperial beach, La Mesa, and Bonita. The immigration process is far too important to entrust any immigration law firm. As a foreign worker, you will need the help of an experienced law firm that has the resources you need to tackle your complex case.
Call to schedule a consultation with Castillo & Associates at 1-800-497-9774. You can also speak to an experienced attorney by filling out the contact form. *Castillo & Associates offers a complimentary 15-minute case consultation for immigration cases. Meet with an immigration attorney from Castillo & Associates to learn more about how the law firm can provide you with the representation you deserve. Castillo & Associates is proud to have offices located throughout SoCal including in Calexico, Indio, Pomona, Riverside, and San Diego.