The Comprehensive Guide to Immigration Law in Raleigh, NC


Immigration law can be a daunting and complex topic, especially for immigrants who are new to Raleigh, NC. It is important for immigrants to understand the legal rights and obligations involved in the immigration process in order to navigate it successfully. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of immigration law in Raleigh, NC that every immigrant should know in order to protect their legal rights.

  1. Immigration Status: Immigrants living in Raleigh, NC must have a valid immigration status in order to live and work in the United States. There are various types of immigration statuses available, including temporary visas, permanent residency, and citizenship. It is important for immigrants to understand their specific immigration status and the rights and responsibilities that come with it.

Temporary visas, also known as non-immigrant visas, are issued to individuals who plan to stay in the United States temporarily for work or study. Some of the most common types of temporary visas include H-1B visas for skilled workers, L-1 visas for intra-company transfers, and F-1 visas for students. Immigrants on temporary visas must comply with the terms of their visa, including restrictions on employment and length of stay.

Permanent residency, also known as a green card, is a status granted to immigrants who are authorized to live and work in the United States indefinitely. Permanent residents have many of the same rights as U.S. citizens, including the ability to work and travel freely within the country. However, permanent residents cannot vote in federal elections and can lose their status if they commit certain crimes.

Citizenship is the highest form of immigration status, granting individuals full rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens. To become a citizen, immigrants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including residency and language proficiency, and pass a naturalization test.

  1. Employment-Based Immigration: Many immigrants come to Raleigh, NC for employment opportunities. The U.S. government provides various types of employment-based immigration visas to foreign nationals who have the skills and education needed to fill specific jobs in the U.S. economy.

The H-1B visa is one of the most popular employment-based visas and is available to skilled workers in specialty occupations. Employers must sponsor H-1B visa applicants and show that they cannot find qualified U.S. workers for the job.

The L-1 visa is available to employees of multinational companies who are being transferred to a U.S. office. Employers must show that the employee has worked for the company for at least one year and that the U.S. office will be a continuation of the employee’s work.

Other types of employment-based visas include the O visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, and the P visa for athletes, entertainers, and artists.

  1. Family-Based Immigration: Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States. Eligible family members include spouses, parents, children, and siblings.

To sponsor a family member for immigration, the sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and demonstrate that they can financially support the family member. The family member must also meet certain eligibility requirements, including passing a medical examination and background check.

  1. Deportation and Removal Proceedings: Immigrants in Raleigh, NC who violate immigration laws may face deportation and removal proceedings. Deportation, also known as removal, is the process of formally removing an individual from the United States due to immigration violations.

Immigrants facing deportation have the right to legal representation and to challenge their removal in immigration court. It is important for immigrants facing deportation to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure that their legal rights are protected.

  1. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established by President Obama in 2012 to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation. To be eligible for DACA, individuals must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16, have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least five years, and meet certain educational or military requirements.

DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, receive temporary protection from deportation and are eligible for work permits. However, DACA is not a permanent solution and can be revoked at any time. It is important for DACA recipients to renew their status before it expires and to seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to explore other options for permanent residency.

  1. Immigration Enforcement: Immigration enforcement in Raleigh, NC is carried out by various government agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). These agencies have the authority to detain and deport undocumented immigrants who are in violation of immigration laws.

It is important for immigrants to understand their legal rights during encounters with immigration officials. Immigrants have the right to remain silent and to refuse to answer questions about their immigration status without the assistance of an attorney. It is also important to carry valid immigration documents at all times to avoid being detained by immigration officials.


Immigration law is a complex and ever-changing field that can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer. It is important for immigrants in Raleigh, NC to understand their legal rights and obligations in order to protect themselves and their families. By understanding the various aspects of immigration law, immigrants can better navigate the immigration process and achieve their goals of living and working in the United States.

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