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At the Donovan Law Office, we focus exclusively on immigration law and provide quality legal services that are affordable and effective. We use our knowledge and experience to help immigrants obtain and keep legal status in the United States.


We help immigrants and their families establish legal residence in the U.S. through adjustment of status (“green cards”), family-based visas, work visas, student visas and visitors' visas. Our firm works directly with clients and companies to guide them through the naturalization and citizenship process.




Immigration requires much more than preparing and filing forms with the immigration service. The statutes are highly complex and the regulations are frequently changing. Maureen Donovan has the education, training, and experience necessary to understand and interpret the immigration statutes and apply that knowledge to your case.


We are able to determine the best course of action to take with your immigration matter, such as determining what to file, when to file, and which information to disclose. With each client, we advise you based on the individual's situation and goals.


Everything we discuss is confidential and are protected by the attorney-client privilege, and we are held to the highest standards of ethics among professionals.

Why hire an immigration attorney?


Permanent resident or 'green card' status allows an individual to live permanently in the United States with the right of employment and the ability to travel in and out of the U.S. Immigrant visas are primarily available in four basic categories:


1. Employment Based Immigration

2 .Family Based Immigration

3. Asylum

4. Special Laws for citizens of certain countries


6 categories of family-based permanent residency:


1. Immediate Relatives (spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens. For immigration purposes,

   a “child” is a person under the age of 21).

2. First Preference (unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. For immigration purposes,

   “son” and “daughter” means a child over the age of 21)

3. Second Preference (2A) (spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of

   lawful permanent residents)

4. Second Preference (2B) (unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 21 of

   lawful permanent residents)

5. Third Preference (married sons or daughters of U.S. citizens. This means a child over

   the age of 21)

6. Fourth Preference (brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens


Family Sponsored Immigration


U.S. citizens may petition for spouses, parents, children and siblings. Permanent residents may petition for spouses and children.


Family-based immigration is the most common form of obtaining lawful permanent residency, which is more commonly known as a “green card.” Family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States may obtain legal permanent residence in the United States. Filing for permanent residency also allows one to obtain an employment authorization document, commonly referred to as a “work permit,” which authorizes lawful employment in the United States pending a decision on the application for permanent residency.


Permanent Residency through Employment

The following are the categories which an individual may fall into for employment-based permanent residency petitions:


1. DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")

   55,000 visas are annually allotted in a random drawing to individuals from nations

   underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.


2. EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and

   Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers

   Individuals in this category can petition for permanent residency without having to go

   through the time consuming labor certification process.


3. EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences,

   Arts or Business

   Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer

   must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of

   the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from

   a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the national

   interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.


4. EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals

   Visa holders in this category normally must have a job offer and the potential employer

   must complete the labor certification process.


5. EB-4 Special Immigrant

   Visas for Religious Workers Ministers of religion are eligible for permanent residency.


6. EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas

   Under the 1990 Immigration Act, Congress has set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for

   alien investors in new commercial enterprises who create employment for a minimum of

   ten individuals.


   There are two groups of investors under the program - those who invest at least 500,000

   in "targeted employment areas" (rural areas or areas experiencing high unemployment of

   at least 150% of the national average rate) and those who invest 1,000,000 anywhere

   else. No fewer than 3,000 of the annual allotment of visas must go to targeted

   employment  areas.


7. DV-1 Visas (the "Green Card Lottery")

   55,000 visas are annually allotted in a random drawing to individuals from nations

   underrepresented in the total immigrant pool.


Refugee and Asylum Applications

Persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be eligible to apply for asylum or refugee status in the U.S.


National Interest Waiver

The National Interest Waiver petition allows foreign nationals to bypass the cumbersome labor certification process which is ordinarily required in obtaining permanent residence through the EB-2 employment-based permanent residence category. In order to qualify for the National Interest Waiver, the following three requirements must be met. First, the applicant must be seeking employment in an area of substantial intrinsic merit. In other words, applicants must prove that there is something inherently beneficial about the work they propose to do in the United States. Second, the proposed benefit of the employment should be national in scope (i.e., beneficial to the entire nation). Third, the applicant must show that the national interest would be adversely affected if a labor certification were required.


Donovan Law Office has substantial experience filing National Interest Waiver petitions on behalf of qualified professionals from across the United States and throughout the world. Potential clients can rest assured that we will only accept their National Interest Waiver case if we feel confident that it is likely to be approved. In the event that we determine that the National Interest Waiver is not a viable option, we will work with you to determine alternatives for obtaining your permanent residence that have a higher probability of success.

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