How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

Immigration is an ever-changing field that affects the lives of individuals and families across America. A skilled Atlanta immigration attorney can help guide clients through the process with confidence.

Callers jammed the six phone lines in Elizabeth Matherne’s law office, asking for asylum. She knew she couldn’t take them all.


People who fear persecution in their native country because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion can seek asylum in the United States. An Atlanta immigration attorney can prepare and file the affirmative or defensive petition for asylum on your behalf, advise you throughout the process and defend you in court if necessary.

An experienced Atlanta immigration lawyer will also handle defensive asylum arguments in removal proceedings. An Immigration Judge can deny a person’s claim if they find that their credible fear of persecution is not genuine.

Alpa Amin is the executive director of Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN). In this role she oversees the Victims of Violence program, where she provides representation both directly and by recruiting and training volunteer attorneys to assist immigrant survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault with filing T-Visas, U-Visas, VAWA Self-Petitions and Battered Spouse Waivers for asylum. GAIN represents approximately 4,000 asylum seekers each year.

Deportation Defense

A Atlanta Immigration Lawyer who is experienced in deportation defense can allay the fears of individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States. This can include individuals who have been arrested by ICE and have been ordered to leave the country because they overstayed their visa or entered the country illegally.

An immigration attorney can help individuals in deportation proceedings by filing a variety of different legal claims and waivers to prevent them from being removed from the United States. This includes arguing for asylum, cancellation of removal and other forms of relief from removal.

An individual who is at risk of being removed from the United States must attend a master calendar hearing (MCH) to present their argument that they should stay in the U.S. During this hearing, the immigration judge will listen to the individual’s case and make a decision. If the individual is ordered to leave the United States, they can appeal this decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This is another step where an Atlanta Immigration Attorney can be helpful.

Green Card Applications

Green cards give foreign nationals permanent residence in the United States. Immigration lawyers handle a variety of green card cases.

Family-based green cards allow immediate relatives of U.S citizens and legal permanent residents to immigrate. This includes spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Individuals can also apply for a green card through employment-based categories.

Political asylum is available to individuals who fear persecution if they return to their home country based on race, religion, nationality, or membership in a social group. This category usually involves a lengthy application and interview process.

Individuals with extraordinary abilities can receive green cards if they are able to demonstrate their status as leaders in their fields. This type of case requires a thorough knowledge of laws, procedures, regulations, and statues. We help clients navigate the long-term process of applying for citizenship and defending against deportation proceedings. The firm also handles appeals before the BIA and in federal court.


If you’ve been a green card holder for five years, or married to a US citizen, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization. The process is governed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It requires meeting age and residency requirements, having a good record of moral character, and demonstrating an attachment to the Constitution. It also requires a basic understanding of English and civics.

A knowledgeable Atlanta immigration attorney can help you understand your options and the best course of action. Whether you’re seeking asylum, deported or in removal proceedings, applying for a visa, or facing criminal charges, the right lawyer can make a difference.