Immigrant Rights: 4 Defenses and Ways to a Green Card
By: Harlan York
March 9, 2014

Whether you or your loved one has a green card or still need one, it is crucial that you understand the law and immigrant rights.

1. To apply for green card if eligible – examples of immigrant rights include:

  • lawful entrants who overstay visas and then marry United States Citizens (including same sex marriages )
  • border crossers who marry United States Citizens who are then allowed to file the 601A waiver

2. To waivers of a host of crimes, fraud, and other grounds of “inadmissibility” – merely being eligible does not mean you will win the waiver. Conditions must be met – which I have written about in other blog posts – but a thoroughly prepared waiver is often granted as a precursor to immigrant rights such as a green card.

3. To a hearing before an Immigration Judge (unless entrant under Electronic System for Travel Authorization – formerly known as visa waiver – who are subject to expedited removal by Customs and Border Protection but may certainly apply for green card as noted in 1a above).

In this instance immigrant rights include:

  • Political Asylum
  • Withholding Of Removal
  • Convention Against Torture
  • Cancelation of Removal  for nonpermanent residents (which replaced the old suspension of deportation)
  • Cancelation of Removal  for permanent residents (which replaced the old 212(c) waiver)
  • 212(h) waivers

NOTE: the first three points are fear-based developments of immigrant rights having to do with persecution and/or torture in one’s homeland. The last three points require a balancing of equities by the Immigration Court and/or extreme hardship to a qualifying relative such as a spouse, parent or child.

4. To reasonable fear review (even if caught with final order of removal or deportation) – this exercise of immigrant rights generally has to do with people who are caught in the United States after having been previously deported.  They may seek protection by demonstrating similar criteria as mentioned above in 3a, b, and c.


This is the moment at which you must:

SEEK the advice of a team of experienced lawyers with exclusive practice dedicated to immigrant rights.

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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