Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Do You Want to Live the American Dream?

    Are you ready to go for it?

    By Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ 

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    As a very successful U.S. immigration lawyer, from Northampton England, living the American Dream, I have the privilege of helping many clients from around the world secure their work visas and green cards. It’s so awesome.

    Recently I went back to visit my family in Northampton, and it really helped me appreciate the journey that I have made over the last almost 20 twenty years. I love my home town, and the family and friends I have there, but I love my life in the U.S. even more. I’m able to achieve so much here. In other words, I’m living the American Dream.

    America is one of those few places where you can start from nothing and achieve almost anything, if you put your mind to it, in just one generation. This is the promise of America, and why so many people want to make their home here. 

    The rewards of success are enormous.

    Being an Immigrant to America, whether your a farm worker or a lawyer is far from easy. Practicing U.S. Immigration law can be tough. We have to be supportive to each and every client as they go through having their life scrutinized by immigration officials who often do not have your best interests at heart nor do they have the best interests of America at heart. Many clients have no idea how hard U.S. Immigration can be, so if their case runs into difficulties this can be highly stressful for them. So, we have to be there for them every step of the way.

    The rewards of success are there for the taking.

    When you’re born in a country like America and this is all you’ve known you’re whole life, never having to think about your immigration status, it’s easy to be completely oblivious of the concerns of immigrants. I was born and raised in Northampton, and for the most part, I never gave much thought to the challenges of immigration, even though my parents were immigrants to the U.K. All I knew, was my life as a British citizen and immigration was never really on my radar. So, I get it when I’m now living in American I can see how some Americans can take the positions they do about U.S. Immigration policy.

    Let’s celebrate – we made it!!!

    What I write about in this article is the shared experience of nearly all of my clients. How American immigration law is coded and how it is actually interpreted in practice is vastly inconsistent. Immigration officers are given extremely wide latitude and discretion as to how they implement the law. Did you know, that even legal permanent residents (green card holders) who return from a vacation to the U.S. are not guaranteed re-entry? The officer has the authority to evaluate you on any number of grounds before making the decision to let you back into what is now your country.

    When I came back from the U.K. after an 11-hour flight, as we were stuck in the runway for over an hour, I was tired and not feeling well, and when I finally got to the arrivals gate, having completed their online customs form, etc. at their kiosk, I handed in my passport to get it stamped and the Officer asked me, ‘why was I coming to the U.S.?” I had simply forgotten to hand in my green card as I handed in my passport. This was a gentle reminder that until I become a U.S. Citizen America does not recognize me as being one of their own, I’m a foreigner, I’m not home. So, even my journey is not over even after 20 years of living in America and achieving all that I have. You can be sure I’ll be getting in my U.S. Citizenship application in asap, it’s something I put off for no particular reason since I’m not looking to sponsor any family members into the U.S. and the green card once issued is for life anyway. However, the above experience was just a gentle reminder that I need to finish this and become a U.S. Citizen since I want to just be able to hand over my passport and all I hear is “Welcome home”.

    The American Dream is for you, it’s for everyone who is prepared to work hard to meet the requirements and then keep working until they secure the visa that will open the door to the American Dream.

    Many of my clients are already in the U.S. on a work visa but have found that a work visa by definition is the extremely fragile ground upon which to settle in the U.S. As an individual your situation is fragile, but it’s profoundly more fragile if you bring your family to America as I did. I had three young kids, and a spouse, none of them had any rights to work (now or in the future). Without these work rights, meant that everything was on me as a husband and father to provide everything. Moreover, if anything happened regarding my job, my whole family would have to be uprooted and would have to leave this place my family had fallen in love with and called home. How do you explain that to a 5, 10, and 12 years old?  You can’t, so being on a work visa is the first step, but for me and many like me it was no fun. So, my practice works really hard every day to develop our client’s into becoming successful green card holders. The work visa is certainly a temporary stepping stone but, it’s far from having the security that comes with getting your green card and having permanent residency. 

    We are committed to making sure you get your visa. We fight until we win!

    We also have many clients who are looking to come to America to start their way up the U.S. Immigration ladder with a work visa, and we do our very best to secure this for them. However, once they have their work visa, we do have to think about how quickly we can get them onto a green card.

    Please note, that unless you are marrying an American citizen, getting a green card is a very challenging process indeed, even if you have impeccable professional credentials. What might be impeccable on paper still has to be scrutinized by an actual immigration official, and as I outlined earlier, they have wide discretionary powers to approve or deny your case for any reason.

    You can win, you just have to persevere until you do and when you do, the feeling it like no other.

    I want to acknowledge and celebrate my clients because of their bravery for wanting to improve their lives and that of their children by emigrating to America, and for being willing to go through whatever it takes to make it happen.

    I remember a very good client of mind called Preet (not his real name), a software architect from India, but at that time Preet was living in the U.K. I remember talking to Preet on the phone for the time first time when he enquired about coming to the U.S.

    After some time, Preet gave us his case and we began working on it. We filed the case and it was ultimately denied for an EB1 green card. There was nothing wrong with Preet’s case per se, as he had all of the accomplishments necessary for us to win. It was just that the officer on the day thought different.

    Undeterred, Preet asked us to work up his case further and re-file it, which we did and again it was denied. Again, this officer, and we do not know who these officers are, did not approve the case and it was denied.

    We love working with our clients. The personal satisfaction we get is so worth all of the challenges we often have to overcome to get each and every win.

    Preet said I’m not going to let U.S. Immigration officer who cannot appreciate my senior level of skills in I.T. deny me of my future. Preet said let’s file this case again. You can imagine how much this was costing Preet as we do not work up and re-file cases for free.

    On this third try, Preet’s case was approved. In our three filings, the case was not substantively different from the very first case we filed. We persisted and we won. We called Preet to let him know that we’d won his case and his response was to immediately begin singing the American National anthem on the phone. You can just imagine, our joy and emotions hearing a client respond this way.

    When Preet finally came to our office to pick up his green card, he came dressed with an American flag outfit from his top hat to his striped pants. Even now Preet will send me pictures of himself (in his regular work clothes) having lunch from the balcony of his office overlooking Downtown San Diego looking very happy and proud that he has made his American Dream come true. 

    I can’t help admiring Preet, he represents the best of us. Preet did not have an easy time making pursuing his American Dream. Even when his case was denied, he stuck with us, worked with us and supported us as we tried to weave the best profile of his case so we could win it. Preet always had a sunny disposition. Preet is one of those clients who really make you feel totally rewarded for working in the field that we do. 

    Staying calm under pressure, and working systematically through every issue, is what we do. U.S. Immigration has never been easy, and it is getting harder, so we just have to keep upping our game to make sure we remain consistently prevail.

    When I talk about Preet, I’m not trying to idolize him, no, I’m trying to show our readers that we are all Preet, we are all immigrants trying to find our way through this Immigration Maze. Some of us have it quite easy by comparison to the ones like Preet who have had it very difficult, but thank God that the vast majority of our clients do end up getting the visa or green card they hired us to secure for them. We are thrilled to bits each time we win each case and if we don’t win right away, we’ll fight, as we did for Preet, until we do. We leave no client behind. 

    We cannot wait to celebrate with you.

    One final point, when I see the caliber of the clients we bring into the U.S. to build up America I’m so proud of each and every one of them. Immigrants are the good guys, every one of them, without exception want to do right by America and for themselves. many of our clients for years have been dreaming for the chance of living in America. Just the idea of having the privilege of working and living in America has been a strong motivation for them.

    America is a great country to live in and immigrate to. The American Dream is a dream worth having and if you try hard enough, will never disappoint. 

    We cannot wait to work with you.

    Thanks for reading this article, I hope it inspires you to go for the American Dream and if and when the going gets tough, you will remember this article and persevere until you to are rewarded for your perseverance. We can certainly help you get there. Call us today and let’s get started.

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
    [Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
    Tel: 310 496 4292

    Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

    Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank you.

    Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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