Tampa Immigration Lawyer

Florida is home to a large population of immigrants. Some Floridians come from other states, and some are even from other countries. Many of the residents have only been in Florida for a few years, and most came here for business purposes. When we arrive, and when the temporary stays we planned become permanent, we all need legal help settling in. That is where an experienced Tampa immigration lawyer can be a huge help.

At the
Benkabbou Law Firm, we are dedicated to families just like yours. So, we offer a full range of immigration services. Especially in the post-9/11 world, entering this country from a foreign land is never a straightforward process. Status adjustments are not easy to achieve, either. Along the way, some immigrants face removal proceedings and other adverse actions. Regardless of the situation, our professional team is ready to help.

Initial Determinations in Hillsborough County

For the most part, U.S. laws encourage individuals and families to come to America for various reasons. Nevertheless, the process is not always immigrant-friendly. Without a strong and experienced advocate, it is difficult to obtain the assistance you need. So, we routinely help families with things like:

  • Family Visas: Spouses, parents, children, or siblings who are citizens or lawful permanent residents may obtain an F-series or IR-series visa. A sought-after family visa enables people to both live and work in the United States.
  • Work Permit: Many times, people obtain employment authorization documents to stay in the United States for temporary periods, such as an extended business trip, or while waiting for immigration-related events, such as an asylum claim.
  • Employment Visa: This document is broader and more permanent than a work permit. If the immigrant has a U.S. business sponsor, the immigrant may come to the U.S. and work on a long-term basis with little official supervision.
  • Permanent Residence: Both incoming immigrants and long-term residents often seek green cards. This level of entry is not quite like citizenship, but it is pretty close.

Whether you must begin the process in the United States or at a foreign embassy, our professional team can help. We are also well-positioned to assist with the nuts and bolts of visas and immigration, such as medical exams and security screening measures.

Status Adjustments

As mentioned, when many immigrants come to America, they plan to stay for a short while to work or go to school, then they plan to go home, but these plans often change.

The green card status upgrade is one of the most common requests we handle at the Benkabbou Law Firm. Generally, it is easier to obtain a green card after one already has a visa and has been living in the United States for at least a year. Green cards are usually valid for a decade and they are not as vulnerable to adverse action.

Becoming a citizen is the ultimate goal for many immigrants, and our professional team can make that dream a reality. We not only file paperwork in a way that minimizes red flags, but we also offer practical assistance with interview techniques and with the citizenship test.

Adverse Proceedings

Shortly after 9/11, lawmakers divided the old Immigration and Naturalization Services bureau into two entities. The USCIS, which is the “good cop” of immigration law. And ICE, which is the “bad cop.” As a result, authorities are more aggressive than ever when it comes to prosecuting immigration violations.

A technicality like an expired visa,may trigger ICE adverse action. In other situations, a person is convicted of an aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude. Most deportation and removal proceedings involve alleged criminal conduct. Fortunately, several recent United State Supreme Court cases, such as 2018’s Sessions v. Dimaya, have substantially expanded immigrant rights.

Contact an Assertive Lawyer

A strong immigration advocate gives your personal American dream a positive start. For a confidential consultation with an experienced immigration attorneys in Tampa, contact the Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC. After-hours appointments are available.


How Trademarks can Benefit Your Business

With the number of companies in the market competing for your business, branding is increasingly important today. In this regard, trademarks can benefit business and be an important tool for a business owner, provided it is used properly. As an experienced trademark lawyer in Tampa, we want businesses to be aware of the benefits a trademark can offer. And provide your business the necessary steps to protect it.

How Trademarks can benefit business?

To summarize, a trademark will generally consist of a word, phrase, image, or symbol that is immediately identified as being associated with a company. Think of the Nike swoosh or the Apple logo on smartphones. Whether they realize it or not, consumers encounter numerous trademarks throughout the course of a typical day and they influence brand loyalty and purchasing decisions.  According to Entrepreneur, some of the main reasons why a trademark is important for your business include:

  • Trademarks make for more effective communications tool. Trademarks convey technical and emotional attributes about a company and its products, allowing businesses to communicate their message to a broader audience by bridging language barriers.
  • A Trademark can distinguish your company from others. A trademark is your brand. It allows consumers and clients to immediately identify your business among competitors and encourages brand loyalty.
  • Trademarks make it easier to attract and hire valuable employees. By providing your business with a clearly identifiable brand and building its market reputation, trademarks allow companies to attract the top talent in their respective fields.
  • Trademarks boost a businesses marketing efforts. Trademarks convey a lot in just a small amount of space. They lend themselves well to product placement and sponsorship’s, making marketing and advertising easier, and are particularly useful in the media.

Why your business needs a Registered Trademark

In comparison to a Copyright, which protects art or literary works, or a Patent, which protects an invention. Registered Trademarks protect company brand names and logos.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), trademark rights come with actual use, provided the brand name or logo does not too closely resemble that which another company or product currently uses.

The rights for a company to use a trademark never expire, provided the company continues to use it on a regular basis. This is true regardless of whether a company has filed to have it registered. There are numerous advantages to registering a company trademark. These include:

  • Provides a legal presumption of ownership and the rights to exclusivity.
  • Affords federal protections, including the right to file a federal lawsuit.
  • Recognized by foreign countries and U.S. Customs and Border officials, it can decrease the likelihood of fraud in imported goods.

When a trademark is not registered, the letters ‘TM’ will appear after a company logo. Only a registered trademark will have the ® symbol attached to it.

Consult with a Tampa Trademark Lawyer

Get the trusted legal guidance your business needs to protect its brand and reach out to the Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC. Contact our Tampa trademark lawyer and request a consultation at our office today.


Naturalization: The Process of Becoming a U.S. Citizen

While many people come to the United States to each year as immigrants, not all choose to pursue naturalization. This involves the process of becoming an actual citizen, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it. Naturalization can be a long and confusing process, but our Tampa immigration lawyer is here to help. The following outlines the requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S. and the steps involved in the process.

Qualifying for Naturalization

There are numerous options for coming to the United States. Many come with the intent to work, others to go to school, or to reunite with other family members. Naturalization can be seen as the culmination of the process of obtaining a visa, visiting the country, living, and working here while developing ties in the community, and finally taking an oath of allegiance and claiming it as your own.

The process for becoming a
citizen of the United States can take years to complete. The first step is determining whether you qualify. Applicants must have a valid Permanent Resident card, otherwise known as a green card, for at least five years before applying or three years if you are the spouse of a current U.S. resident. Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • All applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time you apply for naturalization;
  • Applicants must be able to read, write, and speak basic English;
  • You must have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • You must show an attachment to the U.S. Constitution, and the principles under which the United States was founded;
  • You must be a person of good moral character, with no history of deviant behavior or convictions for felony crimes over the prior five-year period.

Applicants must also meet certain residency requirements, which includes being in the U.S. continuously for close to three of the past five years and being a resident of the state in which you file for at least three months.

Steps in the Naturalization Process

U.S. Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS) outlines the path to citizenship in the pamphlet 10 Steps to Naturalization. If you have determined that you qualify to become a citizen of the United States, the following steps need to be taken:

  • Filing form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the appropriate supporting documents.
  • Submitting to bio-metrics, which involves being fingerprinted and photographed for the purpose of running a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) background check and paying the required fees.
  • Attending an in-person interview with the USCIS, unless exempt, and taking both and English and Civics exam.

Once the above steps are completed, applicants will be notified of whether the application was approved or denied. If a denial was believed to be issued in error, the applicant may appeal the decision.

Consult with a Tampa Immigration Lawyer

At the Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, we are here to guide you through every step of the naturalization process. Reach out to a Tampa immigration lawyer to request a consultation about your case and how we can help you.