The Law Office of Thomas V. Sassone, P.C.

  • (845) 639-4664


Dependable Immigration Lawyer for Your Case

The immigration law is a highly technical area of law which constantly changing and being reinterpreted. If you are looking for help with an immigration matter you should only use an experienced immigration attorney. Many people fall prey to the multitude of visa consultants, notary publics and others holding themselves out as qualified in the immigration law. This often an illegal practice and should be avoided.

The Law Office of Thomas V. Sassone P.C. is a full-service law firm which recognizes the special needs and requirements of those who are not citizens of the United States. We’ve been practicing immigration law for over 25 years and provide experience in all areas of immigration law.

Non-U.S. citizens are often treated differently under the many laws of the U.S. Whether people are in the U.S. legally or not, the firm strives to provide its clients with a full range of services while always considering the special circumstances which may affect them.

Family Based Immigration

U.S. Citizens and Law Permanent Residents (LPRs, “Green Card Holders”) may bring certain family members to the US to allow them to stay as lawful permanent residents. Family Sponsorship is made up of five categories: the immediate relative category and four preference categories.

Immediate Relatives:

This category covers spouses, unmarried children (under 21 years old) and parents of U.S. Citizens. There is no limitation to the number of immigrant visas in this category. Those who have not “entered” the U.S. legally may be required to return to their home country to receive their immigrant visa.

1st Preference Category:

This category covers the unmarried sons and daughters (children over 21 years old) of U.S. citizens. 

2nd Preference Category:

This category covers the spouses and unmarried children (both under 21 years old and over 21 years) of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). LPRs may not sponsor their parents. 

3rd Preference Category:

This category covers the married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. 

4th Preference Category:

This category covers the brothers and sisters (siblings) of U.S. citizens. 

Employment Based Immigration

Employment sponsored immigration is divided into five categories: Priority Workers; Persons with Advance Degrees or Exceptional Ability; Skilled, Professional and Other Workers; Special Immigrants; and Investors.

1st Preference Category—EB-1: Priority Workers

Persons with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business or athletics (no employer is needed). Also, in this category are multinational executives and managers seeking to transfer to the U.S. Labor certification is not required for EB-1s.

2nd Preference Category—EB-2: Advance Degrees or Exceptional Ability

Persons with Advance Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the arts, sciences or business which will substantially benefit the national economy. Advance degrees include master’s degree or higher (or its equivalent). Requires labor certification in most cases.

3rd Preference Category—EB-3: Skilled, Professional, and Other Workers

Skilled persons are those who have at least 2 years of experience in a job that requires two years of experience. Professionals are those with a bachelor’s degree or members of a profession. Other workers cover unskilled workers. Labor certification is required in this category.

4th Preference Category—EB-4: Special Immigrants

Special immigrants include religious workers, special immigrant juveniles, returning residents, certain foreign medical graduates, certain Broadcasters, persons who served honorably for 12 years in the armed services. NATO civilian employees, and several other groups. Labor certification not required.

5th Preference Category—EB-5: Investors

Persons who invest a certain amount of money in a new commercial business that employers at least 10 full-tine U.S. citizens or people authorized to work and manages the business on a day-to-day basis or through policy formation. Investor must be primarily liable for the investment which must be at risk. If approved, conditional residency is given and must apply after 2 years to remove the condition.

Labor Certification

Employers who sponsor people who fall with the EB-2 and EB-3 categories are required to certify that there are not enough U.S. workers willing and qualified to do the job, and that the employment of a foreign person will not adversely affect wage and working conditions of U.S. workers. Application is first made to the Labor Department for such certification. Once approved, the employer may then sponsor the employee for Lawful Permanent residence status.

Bars To Entry

Beneficiaries must be in the U.S. lawfully (with some limited exceptions) at the time an immigrant visa (green card) becomes available U.S. If not, they must return to their countries and process through the U.S. consulate to obtain their immigrant visa. However, the U.S. consulate may impose a bar to their return to the U.S. based upon the amount of time the beneficiary was in the U.S. unlawfully. Beneficiaries who were in the U.S. unlawfully for more than 6 months but less than one year, will be not be allowed to return to the U.S. for 3 years. Those who were in the U.S. unlawfully for more than one year will not be allowed to return for ten years.

However, there are special waivers that may be available if the beneficiary can prove their not returning to the U.S. will cause an extreme hardship upon their U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent.

Always check with an immigration attorney before leaving the U.S. to process at the consulate.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and allows children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected by at least one parent to obtain lawful status. 

In N.Y. you must apply to the Family Court for custody or guardianship and ask for “special findings,” that it is not proper for the child to be sent back to their country because there is no one in that country who is willing or able to care for the child.

With the grant of custody or guardianship and the special findings, the child can petition the USCIS for a Lawful Permanent Residence status. 

What To Do If Someone Is Caught By Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.)

Don’t panic! I.C.E. will process the person by getting their information and arrange for holding them in a local detention facility. The process takes about a day. The person will have an opportunity to call you. Make sure they don’t sign any papers without the attorney reviewing them. Hire a reputable attorney who will let I.C.E. know the person has legal representation. 

A person who is detained may be eligible to be released on a bond. That means they can put up money to be released from detention. This money is posted to make sure the person will appear at immigration court. At the end of the case, the money will be returned. However, if the person does not appear in court, the money will be forfeited.

When the person is detained, I.C.E. will make an initial determination whether the person should be released. If denied release, a special request can be made to the immigration judge to review that determination. It may take several weeks to get a hearing before the judge. You must show the person is not flight risk or a danger to community. The typical bond amount is between $1500 to $25,000.