Q I just became a citizen of the United States. Can I petition for my family members to come to the United States?

A Yes. You can petition for your parents and wife to come to the United States immediately. You can also file a petition for your siblings, but they must wait until their priority dates become current.

Q I want to petition for my wife for permanent residency, but I do not think I make enough money. What do I do?

A You can always check the 2008 Poverty guidelines to determine if you make enough income for your family so that you can petition for your wife. Additionally, you can find a joint sponsor who would be willing to step in and assume some of the responsibility in the event that you cannot.

Q I went to my adjustment of status interview a few months ago, and they have not notified me of the status of my case. Is there anything I can do?

A Yes. You can do an inquiry into the status of the case. DHS is not holding any adjustment of status cases for “name checks” with the FBI anymore. Therefore, they should be processed normally, and you may do an inquiry into the case usually with the INFOPASS system.

Q I have been arrested for a crime; will that affect my immigration status?

A Yes. Certain crimes have more effect on your record than other crimes. A felony and certain misdemeanor convictions can get you removed from the United States. It is important for your criminal attorney to talk to an immigration attorney before you plead to anything in criminal court.

Q My application for adjustment of status is pending. How can I check the status of the case?

A You can check with the Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov. Go to “case status online.”

Q My labor certification was filed. Due to the visa unavailability for India on my immigrant case, I would like to extend my H-1B status as a backup plan. If I have had my H-1B for over six years already, how much longer can I extend it for?

A So long as your labor certification was filed prior to the expiration of your fifth year on the H-1B, you can keep extending your H-1B status in one-year increments beyond your sixth year.

Q My immigrant worker application (I-140) was approved, but my adjustment of status application is still pending. If I have had my H-1B for over six years already, how long can I extend my H-1B for?

A In most instances, you should be able to extend your H-1B status for three more years.

James E. Root is the principal immigration attorney at Root Law Grouop, an Exclusive Immigration Law Firm with offices in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and San Fernando counties. Contact (888) ROOT-LAW or visitwww.RootLaw.com