Top Immigration Law Firm in SW Florida

As you know, immigration can be a long and draining process. There are many steps to process through and hundreds of pages of paperwork. At Gayle Sarju Law Offices, we have 10 years of experience in helping individuals successfully immigrate from many areas, especially the Caribbean, into the United States. Allow us to do the heavy lifting and put your mind at ease.

Green Card Renewals

Renewing a green card is generally a fairly simple process for your attorney. Once you have provided all of the required paperwork and paid the proper fees, your attorney will complete the process for you. At this point, the processing time is two to twelve months.

You will not be deported simply for allowing your green card to expire, but it may cause other difficulties:

  • Trying to obtain a new job – your green card is one of the primary ID documents that the new employer must provide to the government
  • Obtaining a professional license – professional licenses are required in a variety of careers such as real estate, health care, insurance, law, etc
  • Re-entering the US –an expired green card will not necessarily keep you from re-entering the US, but it will make it more difficult and it will take longer
  • Buying a house – you will need to prove your permanent resident status to set up a mortgage
  • Renewing an expired driver’s license –in the state of Florida, you are required to show proof of your lawful residency status


Securing citizenship in the United States, is a multi-stop process with many facets. The first step is that you must apply for and obtain your green card. As a lawful permanent resident, you will enjoy many of the benefits of full citizenship, though not full rights.

There are four primary ways to qualify for your green card:

  • Family sponsorship;
  • Employment;
  • Investment and entrepreneurship; and
  • the Diversity Visa lottery.

After you’ve had your green card for five years (or three years if married to a US citizen), you can begin the next steps. To apply for citizenship, you also have to prove local residency, show that you can read, write and speak basic English, pass a short civics test of basic US government and history, and show good morale character.

Then you file form N-400, and any required paperwork, with the USCIS. The average processing time for the N-400 is approximately 8 months, though the entire process may be closer to 15 to 18 months.

Let us guide through all of the paperwork and interviews to help you become a naturalized citizen.We will keep you on track and help you keep your sanity, as well.

Family Based Immigration

Having a family connection in the US who is already a citizen is a common way to obtain your permanent residence.

With family sponsorship, there are six types of permanent resident visas:

  • IR:Immediate relatives of US citizens (spouses, children under 21 years old, and parents);
  • F1:Unmarried children (21 years old or older) of US citizens;
  • F2A:Spouses and minor (under 21 years old) children of lawful permanent residents;
  • F2B:Unmarried children (21 years old or older) of lawful permanent residents;
  • F3: Married children of US citizens; and
  • F4:Brothers and sisters of US citizens

There are additional steps and paperwork required in each of these circumstances. We will work with you and your sponsor to insure a smooth process.

Work Permits

Employment in the US is another common way to secure a green card. Once you accept a job offer in the US with a US-based company, your employer can sponsor your path to citizenship. Application for your green card via employment is divided into three categories:

  • EB-1: Priority workers;
  • EB-2: Professionals holding advanced degrees and persons with exceptional abilities; or
  • EB-3: Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers.

Though these categories are based on job type, the process is the same. When you accept your job offer, your employer will file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. You will file your green card application, form I-485, with your employer’s petition. On your application, you must certify that you intend to accept your job offer when your application is approved.

Usually the waiting period for work visas is shorter than for family-sponsored applications, as the US generally favors highly skilled immigrants.

Take advantage of working with an attorney who will help both you and your employer move through the immigration work permit process.


There are some opportunities to ask the US government to overlook an inadmissibility and grant a green card anyway. These waivers are available for several situations and a few of the most common are highlighted below:

Unlawful Presence

  • You overstayed your previous visa and were therefore in the US illegally
  • You may be eligible to apply for a Form I-601
  • Must prove that a US resident family member (spouse, fiancé or parent) will have ‘extreme’ hardship if you are not allowed in

Immigration Misrepresentation

  • You sought to procure a benefit from the government through misrepresentaion
  • You may be eligible to apply for a Form I-601
  • Must prove that a US resident family member (spouse, fiancé or parent) will have ‘extreme’ hardship if you are not allowed in

Certain Criminal Grounds

  • You committed a crime of moral turpitude, prostitution or a single offense of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
  • These crimes were committed at least 15 years ago
  • Must prove that a US resident family member (spouse, fiancé or parent) will have ‘extreme’ hardship if you are not allowed in

Let the Law Offices of Gayle Sarju help you determine if you are eligible for a waiver, and then complete the application process with you.

Deportation defense

Deportation is the removal of a foreign national from the US, in response to a violation of immigration policy. Generally, people are deported because they committed a crime, are a threat to public safety, violate their visa, or come into the US without valid travel documents. There are a few options before removal begins, and we will help you decide the best route:
  • You may be able to leave on your own, known as voluntary departure
  • If you feel your civil rights were violated, file a complaint with the US Department of Homeland Security
  • You may be eligible for the Adjustment of Status Process
In some cases, you may appeal the removal order. You will definitely want an attorney in this process, and we have years of success in winning these defenses.
  • Argue that you are not removable as charged
  • Request relief from removal
    • Family-based adjustment of status
    • Asylum
    • Withholding of removal
    • Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT)
    • Cancellation of removal
    • Cancellation under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
    • Deferred Action