Practice Areas

The Law Office of Irina Ribeiro is a San Francisco Bay Area law firm providing immigration services to clients located all over the world.

Marriage Visas

Lawful Permanent Residents or a U.S. Citizens may obtain lawful permanent residence status (a “green card”) for their foreign spouses. Depending on the location of the immigrating spouse, permanent resident status is obtained through consular processing or adjustment of status:

  1. Consular Processing
    If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen and your spouse lives abroad, you may petition for a green card for your spouse through a process called “Consular Processing.”
  1. Adjustment of Status
    If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen and your foreign spouse is already in the United States, you may petition for a green card for your spouse through a process called “Adjustment of Status.”

Fiancé Visa

If a Lawful Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen wants to marry their loved one within the United States, they may petition for their foreign Fiancé to come here on a nonimmigrant visa, and later adjust his or her status to immigrant status after marriage.

Removal of Conditional Resident Status

If you and your spouse are married for less than two years when you apply for a green card, the foreign national receives a two-year residency. To get a full ten-year resident card, you have to file a petition called Removal of Conditions.” The Law Office of Irina Ribeiro assists clients in removing the conditions on their residence status to become a permanent resident, including those who are filing for the removal of conditions by themselves.

Family Visas

Lawful Permanent Residents and U.S. Citizens may petition for their family members to immigrate to the United States. U.S. Citizens may be eligible to petition for their parents, children, and brothers and sisters. Permanent Residents may be eligible to petition for their children depending on the age and marital status of the children.

Visas through Employment

A United States employer may sponsor a foreign employee for a visa to work in the United States through the following categories:

  • B-1 Visa for Temporary Business Visitors.
  • E-1/E2 Treaty Trader or Treaty Investors Visas are for an employee (or the trader or investor him/herself) of a company with majority ownership by citizens of a country with which the U.S. has a trade or investment treaty.
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa for professional employees in a “speciality occupation” and who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the applicable field of endeavour.
  • H-1B1 Visa specifically for people from Chile and Singapore.
  • L-1A Visa for intracompany managerial/executive transfer from overseas office.
  • L-1B Visa for intracompany “specialized knowledge” transfer from overseas office.
  • O-1 Visa for a person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • P-1/P-2/P-3 Visas for internationally recognized athletes, artists, or entertainers.
  • TN Visas for professionals from Canada or Mexico.


Permanent Residency through Employment

The United States permits some foreign nationals with certain skills, education, and/or work experience to become permanent residents (obtain a green card). An employment-based immigrant visa may be available for foreign nationals who fall in the following categories:

  • EB-1 Visa for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers.
  • EB-2 Visa for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.
  • EB-3 Visa for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers.
  • EB-4 Visa for special immigrants, which includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. Foreign Service posts, retired employees of international organizations, foreign national minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of foreign nationals.
  • EB-5 Visa for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.
Perm Labor Certification

PERM is the U.S. Department of Labor’s most recent program for the permanent labour certification program. Labour certification is the most widely used employment-based opportunity for obtaining a green card. When a U.S. employer would like to sponsor a foreign employee for a green card, the employer must obtain a PERM Labor Certification to proceed with the permanent residency (“green card”) process.

Labour certification requires a U.S. employer to prove that there are no minimally qualified U.S. workers for the position. Once the U.S. Department of Labor “certifies” this application, the employer will be able to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for permanent residency (a “green card”) for the foreign employee.

Artist Visas

The O and P visa categories often referred to as “Artist Visas,” are the most common visas obtained for foreign artists, entertainers, and athletes who would like to come to the United States.

The O visa is for highly talented or acclaimed foreign nationals. It is especially helpful to artists, athletes, entertainers, high-end chefs, and business people who do not have a professional degree.

  • O-1A Visa for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.
  • O-1B Visa for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.
  • O-2 Visa for individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance.
  • O-3 Visa for individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’sand O-2’

The P visa is for artists or entertainers who teach, perform or coach an art form that is culturally unique.

  • P-1 Visa is for individual athletes, athletic teams, and entertainment groups who have a high level of achievement in the field.
  • P-2 Visa is for artists and entertainers who perform individually or as part of a group, pursuant to a reciprocal exchange program between one or more U.S. organizations and one or more such organizations in another country that provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers.
  • P-3 Visa is for culturally unique artists and entertainers who perform individually or as part of a group, coming to the U.S. to develop, interpret, represent, coach, or teach their particular art or discipline.
Student Visas

The following visas may be available to persons who are interested in studying in the United States:

  • F-1 Visa for Academic Students. This visa allows you to enter the U.S. as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that results in a degree, a diploma, or a certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.
  • M-1 Visa for Vocational Students. This category includes students in vocational or other nonacademic programs, other than language training.
  • J-1 Visa for Exchange Students. A J-1 visa is authorized for those who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training. Common categories for J-1 visas are Professors/scholars, Research assistants, specialists, interns, trainees, teachers, au pairs, and camp counsellors.
Citizenship And Naturalization

Permanent residents can apply for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) if they meet certain requirements. Naturalization can be made complex by eligibility issues such as prior criminal record, disruption in continuous physical presence, fraud,and tax issues. We help clients address any legal issues by providing specialized knowledgeand experience to assist clients in becoming U.S. citizens.

Certificate of Citizenship
In some cases, a foreign national obtained U.S. citizenship through the naturalization of their parent(s). If certain requirements are met, an application for a Certificate of Citizenship may be submitted to show the foreign national automatically became a U.S. citizen at the time of their parents’ naturalization.


If you have entered the United Statesand are fearful of returning to your country of origin because you may be subject to persecution, you may be eligible to apply for asylum. The United States provides protections to foreign nationals by granting asylum to those who can demonstrate that he or she is unwilling or unable to return to home country because of past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

As part of our analysis, we will also explore alternative reliefs such as withholding of removal, convention against torture, or temporary protected status.

Visas for Victims of a Crime

Victims of a Crime

Victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation of a crime may be eligible for a visa.

  • U Visa for victims of crimes committed in the United States by a U.S. citizen. If you receive a U Visa, you may remain in the U.S., can apply for a work permit and can later apply for a green card.
  • S Visas for people who act as witnesses or as informants to federal or state government agencies.

Victims of Domestic Violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows a victim of domestic violence to apply for permanent residency. The victim may apply without the participation or knowledge of the person abusing them.

Deporatation And Removal Defense

The U.S. federal government may force someone to leave the United States by placing them in removal (deportation) proceedings.

This process requires the personand their attorney to appear before an Immigration Judgeand prove they are eligible to remain in the United Sates. A person can find themselves in removal proceedings for a number of reasons, but in all cases the person must win in Immigration Court or s/he must leave the country. A variety of forms of relief is available in these proceedings,and an experienced immigration lawyer can help you understand which forms of relief are available to you.

Waivers for Grounds of Inadmissibility

The United States government may find some people applying for certain visas are “inadmissible” to the United States. People may become “inadmissible” to the United States when they violate immigration law. For example, a person can be found to be inadmissible if they enter the United States illegally (without a visa). Please note there are a number of reasons a person may be found inadmissible.

Fortunately, in some cases, an attorney may file a “Waiver” which asks the United States government to forgive the person’s violation. If granted, the person is no longer in admissible and may proceed with filing a visa petition.

Appeals & Motions

If you have been ordered deported in Immigration Court, had your family-based petition denied by the USCIS, or if you have received some other form of adverse decision from an immigration body, you may be able to file an appeal.

An appeal is a written request for a “decision” to be reviewed by a higher authority. An appeal can be made to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), usually within 30 days from the date of the decision. You may also appeal a decision made by an Immigration Judge to the BIA or the 9th Circuit,and in very rare cases, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A Motion is a legal request to an Immigration Judge or other authority to issue a ruling, order, or take action on a legal matter. A Motion can be an effective tool to obtain a favorable result in an immigration case.

Motions to Reopen: If you have already had an immigration court case,and if you lost, you might need to reopen that case in order to apply for new relief or in order to correct a mistake that was made. Also, if you were put into removal proceedings without your knowledge,and a deportation order was entered, you will need to file a motion to reopen based on the fact that you were never properly informed of the proceedings or that you were never properly served with the Notice to Appear.

Motions to Reconsider: If you have recently received a removal orderand you are sure that there was a mistake, or a misevaluation of the law, you can file a motion to reconsider asking the judge to reevaluate his or her decision in light of the error of law.

Motions to Suppress: If your constitutional rights were violated when you were arrested, detained, or interrogated by the government, you may be able to move to suppress all evidence of your identity from the court (including the fact that you might be here without authorization).