NYC Immigration Attorney
Most of the laws that govern immigration in this country were created and continue to be enforced by the federal government. In fact, the federal government actually has complete authority to grant or deny visas, green cards, and citizenship. States, including New York, however, do play an important role in issuing regulations that relate to licensing, employment, and benefits for immigrants, so if you or a loved one recently immigrated to New York or are planning on immigrating there, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced New York City immigration attorney who is well-versed in both state and federal law.
Under federal law, non U.S. residents are prohibited from entering the country in certain ways, including by:
- Entering or trying to enter the U.S. at any place other than at a location previously designated by immigration officers;
- Eluding inspection or examination by immigration officers; or
- Attempting to enter or obtaining entry to the U.S. by making a false or misleading statement, or by purposely concealing a material fact.
Those who are found to have violated this law can be fined $250 and even imprisoned for more than six months. Aliens who attempt re-entry at a later date can be penalized even more harshly and could face imprisonment for up to two years and a $500 fine.
Fortunately, there are a number of lawful ways to enter the country, mainly through obtaining a visa, so if you are considering immigrating to New York, please contact our legal team to learn more about your legal options.
Re-entry After Deportation
Re-entering the country after being deported, removed, excluded, or denied admission into the U.S. is also unlawful under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). However, there is an exception to this law that applies when:
- Prior to embarkation, at a location outside of the U.S., the Attorney General expressly consents to the alien’s admission; or
- An alien can establish that he or she wasn’t required to obtain advance consent under other federal law.
Immigrants who fail to comply with these laws and re-enter at an improper location face up to two years imprisonment, unless prior to removal, the individual in question was convicted of committing three or more misdemeanors that involved drugs and crimes against another person, or a single felony. In these cases, the alien in question could face a ten year prison sentence.
In the U.S., passport and visa matters are handled by the Department of State. This agency is primarily responsible for preventing U.S. citizens from departing or entering the U.S. without a valid passport and ensuring that the application process for obtaining passports is enforced. This process includes completing an application and providing evidence of citizenship, which, for those who are born outside of the U.S. includes a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, a Certificate of Naturalization, or a Certificate of Citizenship.
Failing to abide by these rules comes with dire consequences, so if you are looking to obtain a U.S. passport, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation.
Call Our New York City Immigration Attorneys Today
To speak with an experienced immigration attorney about obtaining a passport, applying for citizenship, or combatting removal proceedings, please contact Mark I. Cohen, Esq. at 212-732-0002 today.