Anchorage Immigration Lawyers

We are Immigration Attorneys practicing in Anchorage, Alaska. With more than 15 years of experience, we provide our clients with outstanding legal counsel and representation in all areas of immigration law.  Please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Call Us Now

Should I ask Immigration or an Immigration Lawyer?

Attorney Nicolas A. Olano

One of the most common errors that lead to problems with immigration client’s cases is that, at some point, they got their advice “directly” from USCIS, ICE or EOIR.  These three (Immigration, Immigration Police and Immigration Judges) are government agencies, they are not there to provide advice to the public on their immigration process.  It seems that the access that USCIS provides to its applications and the streamlining they have created is confused with an obligation for it to provide legal advice to its customers – the public.  This could not be further from the truth.  I am going to provide an example that will hopefully clarify this point.  You have just stolen a million dollars, but you are not sure how long the police can go after you for the crime – after how many years will you not be prosecuted for the crime.  So, after five years you walk into a police station and asked the police officer at the front desk that says “information” about your “case.”  What do you think will happen?  Well, most people do not realize this but when they walk into immigration and start asking questions about their particular situations they are placing themselves at risk of 1) getting detained, 2) having their case affected negatively and 3) simply getting the wrong advice.  And, please, do not blame this on a negative “animus” against immigrants or something like it.  For immigration, just like the police officer, if someone who broke the law shows up they may have to detain them.  Also, like the police officer, immigration must keep a record of when your case was accessed and any information you provided – why wouldn’t they?  Finally, immigration officers are there to provide information about what is happening with your case, not provide you with legal advice on your case.  Therefore, it is not rare to see that a client has received incorrect advice from an officer that either does not have the experience or has a different legal position regarding your client’s case.  So, next time you have a question about your case, think twice before going to immigration to ask it.  Is it a question about what is happening with it or is it a legal question about your case?  If it is the first one, by all means ask away.  If it is the second situation, consult with an immigration lawyer about it.

Now, you will ask, how do I know the difference?  If the questions is whether you or someone “can do” something it is a question that must apply immigration law to specific facts.  It is a legal question.  If it is “how” to do something it is generally not a legal question if no facts are applied.  The problem is that ALL situations are different and that difference in the facts is going to require you to apply the law – again a legal issue.  Finally, if the question is what is happening with my case, why is it taking so long, where is it being processed, etc… then immigration is a place where this can be found out.  Remember there are online resources that you can use to find the situation of your case and other particulars that may help you.  For example, you can go here to find about your case:  CASE STATUS INFORMATION.  In short, if you are not sure of whether the question is one to take to a lawyer, err on the side of caution and call a lawyer experience with immigration matters.

Immigration Technology

Immigration, Technology and Enforcement: It is a Brave New World

It is clear that immigration has increased its enforcement efforts in the Trump administration.  None the less the Obama and W. Bush administrations also had a significant increment in the cases of removal or deportation from the United States.  In the Obama administration the number of aliens that were deported was higher than ever before.  In the W. Bush era the creation and activation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 led to a natural increase in removal cases.  The common thread in all of the above is not a negative animus against immigrants, that could be said about the current administration, but not of the previous. The one thing that is a powerful, yet silent, cause behind the rise of enforcement action by immigration agencies is an exponential increment in the use of technology for the processing of cases.  Just to understand what is happening, let’s look at the change of case processing over time in regards to fingerprints.  In the past individuals were fingerprinted in carboard cards that were sent to the FBI and physically compared to one another without the certainty of inclusion in any type of database.  Now fingerprints are collected electronically and immediately available for use and comparison by immigration.  So, what does this mean for the average immigrant, including those individuals who already became citizens of the United States?
Using “preparers,” “notaries,” or “friends” in your dealings with immigration is, more than ever, not an option.  Errors, misstatement and outright fraud, that usually take place with these individuals are things that WILL be seen and found.  They are no longer things of the past – we are not dealing with paper files. We are in the world of electronic files where all information, biometric and biographical, is shared and corroborated.  An omission or a misstatement by someone, like a “notario,” who does not have the preparation or credentials of a lawyer, can be deadly to an immigration case.
Crimes, convictions, marriages and deportations are no longer “forgotten.” If any of these things have happened in a case, they are not going to simply “disappear with time,” as some people think.  Now, more than ever issues with such things are easily discovered and MUST, as has always been the case, be disclosed in your immigration proceedings.  Not doing so may result in your deportation twenty years from now!  For example, read about operation Janus where individuals who were not properly naturalized, be it for lying or fraud in their immigration process, are now being denaturalized.  Also, if you are an immigrant who has an arrest or conviction and who has not yet naturalized, you are also exposing yourself to detention and deportation when traveling out and back to the United States.  Simply put, your biographical history is now in the internet and ignoring it is not a solution.
The bottom line is this.  We ARE living in the age of Big Brother and the U.S. government has the technology and the will to use it to enforce immigration laws.   Remember, Facebook, Instagram, Etc.… collect and share information with third party databases who in turn provide information services for the Government.  Your life is out there in the internet and immigration can get it. So, if you have issues with your immigration past, are having them now with immigration or the law, or think that you may have them in the future, consult or hire a competent immigration attorney who has dealt with cases like yours in the past.


Our Immigration Services


Have you received a Notice to Appear in an immigration court or have deportation proceedings been filed against you? This could lead to severe consequences where deportation is imminent. For non-citizens, there are few greater nightmares than facing deportation. Lawful permanent residence in the United States is a privilege, not a right. That right can be taken away if you are convicted of a crime, or charged with a violation of other sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Rather than let all your hard work go in vain it is time protect your rights with a deportation defense lawyer. If you or your loved one are in need of aggressive defense in a deportation case our firm has the experience and legal acumen, it takes to fight against government attorneys. Our job is to build successful defense strategies that can help you remain in the U.S

Who is Subject to Deportation?

Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen can be deported if he or she is convicted of certain criminal offenses, such as crimes of violence, drug offenses, or crimes of fraud. One may also be subject to deportation if he or she is here illegally or entered the United States legally with a visa, but stayed longer than authorized. If you commit fraud on a visa or passport application, you may face both deportation and criminal prosecution.

Filing a Waiver to Avoid Deportation

Depending on your immigration status and the crime you are charged with, you may be able to avoid deportation by filing for a waiver of the grounds of removal. In considering whether to grant a waiver, an immigration judge balances the positive equities, such as family ties, employment history, and rehabilitation against the criminal conviction. As your attorneys we will appear with you before an immigration judge and will zealously represent you and fight to avoid deportation.

If the immigration judge denies your deportation waiver, our attorneys can file a petition to review your case before the Board of Immigration Appeals and U.S. circuit court of appeals.

The Deportation / Removal Process

You may have worked hard to overcome immigration issues but a Notice to Appear can spell the end of your immigration status. The deportation / Removal process involves several complex legal procedures that require the most experienced immigration lawyer to represent you. Failure to appear in the immigration court can result in a removal order without the right to contest the charges against you. Cancellation of Removal is an important legal remedy available to you under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The The Nations Law Group. is backed by an experienced team of deportation defense attorneys who can bring you appropriate relief.

Why You Need an Attorney?

Immigration laws are tough and even the smallest mistake in a green card or family immigrant petition can lead to charges filed against you. If you are in such a situation you’ve probably been wondering why you need an attorney. Well, there are many reasons. For one immigration law changes constantly and you need someone versed in this type of law. In addition, the Federal Government has attorneys to strongly represent their interests. Finally there is case law, regulations, statutes and other complex immigration regulations that may need to be referred to in your case. You need and deserve someone who can navigate them to your benefit. You need someone working for you and that’s what our attorneys at the The Nations Law Group do.

Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Many immigrants who face criminal charges don’t understand the effect that a guilty plea could have on their immigration status. You could face deportation for a criminal conviction even if you end up pleading to a misdemeanor offense or serve no jail time. You may be a legal immigrant to the U.S. but that doesn’t stop you from being deported for a criminal offense. A few months of detention and the prospects of being sent back to your home country are the imminent risks you face if you have been arrested and convicted of a crime. Immigration laws are tough when it comes to criminal convictions where the veracity of the crime doesn’t matter. You could be charged for battery, shoplifting, petty theft or simple possession of drugs, the risk to your immigration status remains the same. We will coordinate with your defense lawyer to protect your immigration status. It doesn’t matter if you face a charge or are already convicted. It’s never too late to protect your immigration status.

What Criminal Convictions Subject a Non citizen to Deportation?

There are many crimes that would subject a non-citizen to deportation. Here are some examples:

Fraud or theft crimes with loss greater than $10,000 (sometimes fraud or theft offenses are called “crimes of moral turpitude,” since they reflect on your moral standards)

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Gun charges
  • Drug offenses
  • Money laundering
  • DUI that results in injury of another person
  • Felony assault and battery
  • Crimes of domestic violence, even if the charge is misdemeanor battery

There is no guarantee that a criminal defense attorney who doesn’t have a background in immigration law will know the immigration consequences of a conviction. One of the most valuable services that Alaska Immigration Law Group provides is an initial consultation to review your criminal case and explain the immigration consequences.

Getting Released from Detention

A U.S. immigration detention facility takes you one step closer to being deported to your home country. Deportation is a sure way to end any dreams you had for you and your family. The key is to seek instant help from an immigration attorney and get released on bond so that you and your family remain in the U.S. during immigration court proceedings. Our attorneys at The Nations Law Group. can work to set you free from detention and protect your immigration status. We will present arguments before the court with evidence to prove you are not a danger to the community and address the issue that led to your detention so that you can be released as early as possible.

Immigration Appeals

Immigration appeals are highly specialized cases that require careful analysis and interpretation of immigration laws that are best left in the hands of a removal appeals attorney. Winning an immigration appeal could be your last resort to remain as a lawful resident in the U.S. To keep your hopes of living in the United States alive it is important to file an immigration appeal as early as possible. At The Nations Law Group. we understand the complexities of immigration law, which requires a special type of deportation defense. There are tight deadlines to meet while we need to get the facts and arguments right with no room for mistakes and our immigration attorneys are well geared to challenge the immigration judge’s legal reasoning.


There may be many reasons why you do not wish to return to your home country, which includes religion, nationality, race, and political issues. Since you are already in the United States you have the right to apply for asylum. However, you need the assistance of an immigration lawyer to effectively prove that you have a compelling reason to remain in the U.S due to your fear of persecution. The statute of limitations for asylum is only one year after which you face the risk of deportation. If you wish to seek asylum, The Nations Law Group. can provide you with competent legal representation. We know just how challenging the process is to meet the criteria for asylum and would be happy to arrange a consultation to discuss your eligibility for asylum.

When Your Case Has Been Denied

Being denied a green card can be devastating with the possibility of deportation unless you hire an experienced immigration lawyer to protect your rights. Yes, there is always hope as long as you are well represented. Rather than depend on any lawyer get in touch with us at The Nations Law Group. for access to a team of highly experienced attorneys in immigration law. It’s all about strategies and forming a rock solid defense to navigate the exceedingly complex laws related to immigration. Our attorneys will determine the cause for denial and devise a strategy to build a better case to restore your immigration benefits.

Family Immigration

The Nations Law Group. concentrates its practice exclusively on immigration law of the United States. Our concerted approach to immigration law gives us the cutting edge in family immigration matters which include fiance visas, spouses of U.S. citizens, student visas, green card applications, U.S. citizenship and naturalization, and more. We have successfully represented many families and helped them achieve their dream of becoming permanent residents in the U.S. Our attorneys will work with you through every stage in the immigration process. Whether you wish to apply for a green card or citizenship it is always prudent to seek legal counsel in order to enhance your chances of success.

Marriage Fraud

Marriage fraud is one of the most common offenses in immigration cases. A sham marriage is one that is entered into in order to get around the U.S. immigration laws. For a marriage to be valid under the law, it is not enough that the couple had a real marriage ceremony and got all the right governmental stamps on their marriage certificate. They have to intend to live in a real marital relationship, namely to establish a life together, following the marriage ceremony — and prove their intention through their actions. If the couple doesn’t intend to establish a life together, their marriage is a sham. A sham marriage can have serious consequences which can lead to deportation proceedings while your right to enter the United States may be in jeopardy forever. If you have been accused of being involved in a sham marriage, the Alaska Immigration Law Group is all set to defend you and protect your legal rights. Our attorneys will analyze your case and the evidence against you. It’s all about winning the battle against the adjudicators who may subject you to unfair questions and fail to understand that not all marriages are equal. Our job is to prove that your marriage is legitimate, so feel free to contact our firm.

Helping You to Become a U.S. Citizen

Citizenship/naturalization is the legal process by which an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen. If you would like to obtain U.S. citizenship for yourself or your child, we can help you every step of the way.

While one does not need the services of an attorney to become a U.S. citizen, an experienced attorney’s help can make sure the citizenship process is done correctly the first time and avoid delays or requests for evidence from USCIS as a result of missing documentation or an improperly filed application. A lawyer may also be able to help you overcome obstacles to immigration such as a past criminal conviction. A non-citizen’s past criminal record, no matter how far back in time it occurred, can bar an individual from naturalization and may lead to commencement of removal proceedings and the loss of permanent residence.

Family-Sponsored Immigration

The ultimate goal for many immigrants to the United States is to obtain permanent residence. One way to reach that goal is to have a family member who is already a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident sponsor and file an immigrant petition. These include spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and parents and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

With the exception of immediate relatives — that is spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens — a limited number of family-based visas are available each year. As experienced immigration attorneys with years of experience guiding families through the immigration process we can review your case, file the proper petition and give you an honest appraisal regarding the outcome of your case. Mr. Olano, one of our attorneys, concentrates his practice exclusively on immigration law

Employment-Based Immigration

Each year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) provides a limited number of employment-based visas for immigrants seeking permanent residence in the United States. The process of obtaining an employment-based visa is very competitive. To avoid delays and disappointment, it’s important to choose the right strategy when applying. We have valuable experience representing companies in submitting visa petitions on behalf skilled workers and professionals from other countries.

Requesting a Prosecutorial Discretion

On June 17, 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would no longer be seeking deportation in low priority cases. ICE attorneys and officers have a broad authority to exercise discretion in deciding who to detain, to place in removal proceedings, grant deferred action as well as when to terminate removal proceedings and execute a final order of removal. If you are facing removal, or the subject of a final order of removal, it may be possible to submit a request for prosecutorial discretion and stop your deportation.

Helping You Obtain H-1B Temporary Visas

Non-immigrant visas allow you to remain in the United States for a specific period of time and for a particular specialized purpose. These visas can be used for a variety of reasons, ranging from employment to business investment and tourism. Some people come to the United States on a temporary visa with the ultimate goal of obtaining permanent residence. The The Nations Law Group., represents individuals and businesses seeking to obtain temporary visas for employment, investment or other reasons.

Helping Immigrants Get Out of Detention

As immigration laws in the United States get tougher, an increasing number of immigrants are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). In the past, only immigrants with serious criminal records were jailed pending the outcome of their case, but today even those with no criminal history are detained even for nonviolent offenses such as passport fraud, or for entering and remaining in the United States illegally. We are experienced in representing immigrants at bond hearings, in criminal courts and in removal / deportation hearings.

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Deferred action is a discretionary grant of relief by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings. Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law.

Over the past three years, this administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. The DHS continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders.

However, the DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as young children and those who meet other criteria. If you came to the United States as a child, are presently in high school, or already graduated, Our attorneys can guide you through the process of obtaining a deferred action, assist you with getting employment authorization and help with other immigration issues.


Immigration and Information Technology

It is hard to believe that the question “how will Immigration find out?” is still being asked by clients and relied upon by some lawyers.  Not only is this line of thinking one that may jeopardize an attorney’s license, it is an almost assured way of ruining a case.  In ANY immigration proceeding, be it your first or last, credibility is an essential part.  Why?  Because not only may your credibility support the case, in some instances it is the reason why you win it.  For example, an asylum case may be granted solely upon credible testimony. (Asylum Credibility) At the same time, the moment credibility is lost with an adjudicator or opposing party, it is very likely that the case will follow the same path – no matter if it is USCIS, an Asylum Officer, or an Immigration Judge.  So, advice.

First.  Always disclose arrests, marriages, changes of address, travel to and from the U.S., etc…  If for some reason your attorney tells you that such act or situation may be an issue: DEAL WITH IT up front.   Trying to hide it or not disclosing it to a department of state consul, an immigration officer or a customs and border protection agent will eventually surface, destroy your credibility and create a disqualifier in the form of fraud.  (Immigration Fraud Info) Further, remember that most things have waivers – few don’t, like a false claim to us citizenship (but even that may be salvageable!) – and it is better to disclose and request a waiver than to fail to disclose and, not only get your case on the path to assured denial, ending up with a fraud charge for which you may need a second waiver.

Second.  Tell your immigration attorney and keep a record of what you said.  Lawyers are human, they make mistakes, forget things, and cannot read minds.  So, do not assume that your lawyer knows something in your case if you have not expressly told him or her about it.  If you think something should be in everyone’s record tell your lawyer and let him or her guide you on that issue.  Take it as a serious warning if your attorney even hints at not disclosing a fact or issue with your case. (This is not to be confused with what the government must prove in its burden in certain cases, but this is a very fine line which you must walk with care).

Finally, keep in mind the information that you have in the internet.  It is public information in many cases.  Google, Facebook, Instagram and other applications and social media services provide a summary of the information they have collected on you.  (Ger your information) You may want to retrieve this information to have a record.

So, when dealing with immigration start from the idea that all negative information about you is in their hands. This leads to better preparation of cases and better results for you as you will not have to worry many years later if your citizenship may be revoked be cause of an undisclosed fact in your immigration history. (Denaturalization Cases)  So talk your attorney or if you do not have one, get one. Good luck.  For more information go to our main page.