Law Office of H Edward Ballout

(650) 373-1122 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Ballout Immigration Law

The Law Offices of Haitham Ballout

Immigration Questions and Answers

Having served immigration clients for over 20 years, we’ve learned a lot about immigration laws and procedures. We’ve addressed hundreds of questions and concerns around immigration related issues such as Green Cards, deportation and detention centers.

To help serve you better, we’ve compiled and listed below some of the top questions we've encountered about immigration related issues. If you still have questions after reading, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

I am married or engaged to my same-sex partner. May I petition my spouse or fiancee?

Yes, you may. Feel free to contact us for assitance with your petition. More info is available in the USCIS FAQ regarding same-sex marriages and immigration benefits.

Where can I get the Dream Act application?

The application is available online at

What is Obama's new policy of "Deferred Action" and how does it affect me?

Please see the Immigration News & Articles section of the website, the following links: Frequently Asked Questions / Preguntas Frecuentes, or call us for more information.

What happens to Deferred Action if a Republican becomes President?

A Republican president may or may not continue the Deferred Action policy. However, a Republican president will not necessarily revoke deferred action granted to anyone while the policy was in effect. This means that, if a Republican becomes president, new applications for Deferred Action may not be accepted.

If a Republican becomes president, we cannot guarantee that Immigration will not act on the information it has obtained from Deferred Action applicants. However, Immigration has repeatedly emphasized that it will continue to focus its limited resources on criminal immigrants that are a danger to the community.

If I am granted Deferred Action, may I travel outside of the United States?

You may not travel outside of the United States while your Deferred Action application is being considered. If your application for Deferred Action is granted, you must apply for advanced parole in order to travel outside of the United States. Please call our office to discuss the process for applying for advanced parole.

If I marry someone outside the US, will that person automatically become a citizen?

No. Your spouse will receive a green card first if the correct procedure is followed, and if your spouse is eligible.

How long does it take to get a green card?

This varies by person and state. The process of getting a green card isn’t complex but the process could be time consuming.

Where can I learn more about immigration Law?

The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs immigration in the United States. For the part of the law concerning most types of permanent resident status, please see INA § 245. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for adjusting to permanent residence status are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 245.

Who is eligible for a green card?

To find out who may apply for permanent residence in the United States, please contact us to get eligibility information. (Please note, your permanent residence status will be conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day you were given permanent residence. For more information, please contact our immigration lawyers to learn more.)

How do I apply?

To find out how you can apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, please contact us to learn more – we will help you identify what you need to do. After you submit your application materials, you will be asked to go to a USCIS office to answer questions about your applications. Don’t worry, we will help you through this process.

Will I get a work permit?

Applicants for adjustment to permanent resident status are eligible to apply for a work permit while their cases are pending. You should use USCIS Form I-765 to apply for a work permit. You do not need to apply for a work permit once you adjust to permanent resident status. As a lawful permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will prove that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently.

Can I travel outside the United States?

If you are applying for adjustment to permanent resident status, you must receive advance permission to return to the United States if you are traveling outside the United States. This advance permission is called Advance Parole. If you do not obtain Advance Parole before you leave the country, you will abandon your application with USCIS and you may not be permitted to return to the United States. For more information, please contact us.

How can I check the status of my application?

We will contact the USCIS office that received your application on your behalf to ensure that the process for you is as smooth as possible. We will work with the USCIS staff to obtain the specific information that you may need.

How can I appeal?

The only applications for permanent residency (Form I-485) which can be appealed to USCIS are those based on a marriage which took place while the alien’s application was in process or those based on Section 586 of Public Law 106-429, adjustment of status for certain nationals of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. These appeals must be made to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU). Be assured that we can help you through this process if necessary.
Contact Our Immigration Attorneys

Immigration Lawyer Offices

Burlingame, California
1290 Howard Avenue, Suite 300
Burlingame, CA 94010
Phone: (650) 373-1122
Fax: (65) 373-1121

San Francisco, California
220 Montgomery Street, Suite 416
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 434-1234

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
2074 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite #5
South Lake Tahoe, California 96150
Phone: 530-543-1234

Immigration Service Review

"Everything went perfect this morning. When we turned in our packet and walked out with Igor's work permit in hand. You made every part of the process very clear for us... "

Sarah & Igor

"You're the best. Haitham has always gone the extra step to make things work. It was easy to see he was the lawyer I wanted to work with from the first time we met."


"I had full confidence in you from the moment we met."

Clare & Sean

"Truly, I respect your day-to-day work as productive people become free and take citizenship of this great country."


"Thank you for everything, Kaliti has received his green card."


"I would like to thank you for your hard work and support. If I ever know anyone who needs similar services I will strongly recommend you."