Melissa M. Oosterhof provides assistance to clients in need of Immigration & Naturalization Law services. She focuses her practice on: deportation defense, waivers, naturalization and citizenship, family based visa petitions, and DACA. She takes special interest in: Special Immigrant Juvenile visas, asylum, Violence Against Women Act visas, and U visas for crime victims.
Prior to practicing law, Melissa was an elementary school Spanish teacher at Garland ISD, where she provided English-speaking students with Spanish language instruction. Through education, she developed her joy for helping others, especially families and children. She continues to provide service to the community through volunteer work, including pro bono legal representation with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and Human Rights Initiative.
Melissa is the daughter of an immigrant and her love for immigration law comes from a deep understanding of why people migrate to the United States and their desire to build lives here. Facing a foreign system is complex and confusing. It’s Melissa’s goal to provide responsive and compassionate counsel throughout what can be one of the most concerning times in someone’s life.
SMU Dedman School of Law, J.D.
University of Texas at Austin, B.A. in Spanish
When you marry a United States citizen, you do NOT automatically get your green card. While you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency, there are multiple ways to do this. If you are married to an American citizen and if the last time you came to the United States was on a visa, then you may obtain a green card by applying for an Adjustment of Status.
However, if you have ever come to the United States without a visa or travel documents, then you may need to complete Consular Processing instead. This method might require you to wait outside the U.S. for months or even years. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can prevent you from waiting outside the United States, separated from your family and the life you have worked hard to build in this country.
Call today to set up a consultation to find out if you can apply for a permanent residency.
Individuals who have suffered or are likely to suffer persecution in their home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion may be eligible for asylum in the U.S. Spouses and children may be included in applications for asylum and one year after being granted asylum, asylees may apply for permanent residency.
Donald Trump has taken an aggressive stance on immigration since becoming President and has terminated the DACA program. USCIS will not accept any first-time DACA applications. However, USCIS continues to accept certain DACA renewal applications.
If your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may send USCIS, DACA renewal applications. If your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, you must reapply through an initial application, not renew.
We do not know how long USCIS will continue to accept DACA renewals. The continued opportunity to renew your DACA status is uncertain.
If you fulfill the requirements outlined above, immediately contact our office to discuss assistance with this process.
Often, we are able to help our clients avoid deportation—and ultimately get a green card—by applying for Cancellation of Removal, Adjustment of Status, Deferred Action, or visas for victims of certain crimes. Additionally, we are usually able to apply for a temporary work permit while the deportation case is pending in Immigration Court.
We are accustomed to handling complex immigration cases. Many times, we accept—and win—tough immigration cases that other immigration attorneys are just not equipped to handle.
If you want to fight your deportation cases, call us today.
What family members you can bring to the United States depends on your relationship to them and your age. A United States citizen who is over the age of 21 can file an immigrant petition for his or her parents, and the parent can immigrate to the United States as an Immediate Relative. But if the situation is slightly different your family may be waiting for decades.
If you want to avoid a long-term separation from your family members, call us now to set up a consultation so we can determine the safest, fastest way to bring your family to the U.S.
If you have been living in the United States as a permanent resident for at least five years—or three years if you are married to a United States citizen, you may qualify to apply for United States citizenship. At Oosterhof Law Office, PLLC, we are eager to represent immigrants hoping to achieve the ultimate American dream of becoming a citizen.
Additionally, we have often encountered clients with certain family ties to the United States who do not realize that, under the doctrine of derivative citizenship, they are already American citizens!
Immigration law is very complicated, which is exactly why you need an attorney who can guide you through the legal confusion of naturalization and citizenship law. Call us now to set up a consultation.
The news media has highly publicized the fact that tens of thousands of children have fled to the United States from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other countries in recent years.
Fortunately, many of these children qualify for a visa, even if they entered the United States without a visa. Under the SIJS program, children under the age of 21 who are living in the United States may be able to apply for a visa if they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by at least one of their parents, and have obtained an order from a local court stating these findings. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status holders may then apply for a “green card” and become U.S. lawful permanent residents.
If you or your child is interested in applying for this special visa for children, please call us now to find out if you might qualify for these immigration benefits.
Did you know that if you have been a victim of crime, you may qualify for immigration status? The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service, or USCIS, processes visas for victims of certain serious crimes. These visas include U Visas for victims of crime who provide information to the police or the prosecution, T visas for victims of trafficking, and immigrant VAWA visas and green card for victims of domestic violence.
If you have been a victim of crime, call now to set up a consultation.