Representing people in deportation proceedings since 2010.

Bond Hearings

"I have a relative detained at the detention center. How can I get them out?"

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Deportation Defense

We have been representing people in deportation proceedings in Washington and around the country since 2010. Every case is different. Call/email/fill out the contact form by clicking the link below to request a consultation at the office or at the detention center.

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If you're planning a short trip to the United States, you must, with certain exceptions, obtain a "nonimmigrant" (temporary) visa.

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Green Cards

Our immigration lawyer works with clients to develop the most efficient path to permanent residence.

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We develop  and present claims to citizenship through certificate of citizenship, naturalization, and other applications. You might already be eligible and not even know it.

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Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center

Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center

Bond Hearings

Our immigration attorney has been doing immigration bond hearings at the Tacoma Detention Center for years and will work with you to secure the lowest immigration bond possible!

"I have a relative detained at the detention center. How can I get them out?"

A foreign national may be kept in custody, released on bond for a minimum of $1500, or released on conditional parole into the community. Immigration Bond is set by an immigration judge at the Tacoma Detention Center. The amount is based on whether the immigration judge believes the detainee will appear for court (if he or she is released) and whether the detainee poses a danger to the community. Immigration bond amounts increase based on the immigration judge's determination of a detainee's flight risk and danger to the community. 


There are some detainees who are ineligible for bond: "Persons Subject to Mandatory Detention"

 Foreign nationals with certain types of criminal history or subject to mandatory detention, which means they cannot be released pending removal proceedings, even if they are permanent residents. Pursuant to INA236(c)(1), the following persons are subject to mandatory detention:

  • Those who are inadmissible by reason of having committed any offense covered in INA212(a)(2) (criminal inadmissibility grounds)

  • Those who are deportable by reason of having committed any offense covered in INA237(a)(2)(A)(ii) (Multiple crimes of moral turpitude), 237(a)(2)(A)(iii) (Aggravated felonies), 237(a)(2)(B) (Controlled substances), 237(a)(2)(C) (Certain firearms offenses), or 237(a)(2)(D) (miscellaneous espionage and sabotage crimes).

  • Those who are deportable under INA 237 (a)(2)(A)(i) (one Crime involving moral turpitude) If the individual was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least one year.

  • Those who are inadmissible under INA 212(a)(3)(B) (terrorist activities) Or deportable under INA237 (a)(4)(B) (terrorist activities). After passage of the Real ID Act, 45 which expanded the definitions of"Engaged in terrorist activity" and "terrorist organization," As well as background of deportability at INA 237(a)(4)(B), More individuals potentially are subject to removal, and thus, mandatory detention, under these grounds.

Individuals who fall under these mandatory detention provisions must be taken into detention when released from their criminal sentence on parole, supervised release, or probation.

Moreover, person subject to mandatory detention still may be released if the AG decides that release from custody is necessary to provide protection to a witness or potential witness, a person cooperating with an investigation into a major criminal activity, or an immediate family member of such person. However, before any release takes place the AG must also decide that person subject to mandatory detention will not pose a danger to the safety of other persons or property, and are likely to appear for any scheduled proceeding.

Other detainees who are ineligible for immigration bond-Arriving aliens

The immigration judge also does not have jurisdiction to consider release from detention for arriving aliens in removal proceedings. Arriving aliens are those applicants for admission who are either trying to enter the United States at a port of entry or are interdicted at sea and brought the United States.

Other foreign nationals in custody and subject to INA 240 proceedings, besides arriving aliens and those subject to mandatory detention, may request custody redetermination hearings (bond hearings) before the immigration judge. This includes individuals, other than arriving aliens, who initially were placed in expedited removal but who subsequently passed credible fear interviews and replaced in removal proceedings.

Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center

Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center

Paying Bond

We won bond! Now What?

To post an immigration bond for a detainee, you must:

*be 18 years or older

*have a valid Government issued photo ID

*have an acceptable form of payment (see below)

Acceptable forms of payment: cashier's check or US postal money order.

*no cash, personal checks, personal money orders, only money orders.

*if you work with an immigration bond agent, they will pay the bond directly to ICE.


(companies who may be able to help you pay the bond set by an Immigration Judge)

Immigration Bonds -

Action Immigration Bonds

Gonzalez Immigration Bond Service

*this list is not exhaustive, nor does our law office endorse or recommend any of the listed companies. 

For more bond companies, web search "immigration bond companies"



Who Qualifies for a Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Visa?

At the Immigration Law Offices of Noelle Sharp, we work with students, exchange visitors, their families, institutions and employers for compliance with complex government rules, to obtain work authorization and other benefits that may be available, and to work through complex individual problems that inevitably arise.  Our immigration lawyer helps individuals document and clarify their nonimmigrant intent, financial support, and planned activities in making visa applications, seeking entry, and applying for change of status.

 Our immigration lawyer works students and exchange visitors and their family members to obtain work authorization where available.  We also evaluate and assist our clients pursue changes to other visa classifications and to permanent residence for those who wish to expand their range of activities and duration of stay.

Nonimmigrant visas, such as tourist and student visas, permit you to enter the U.S. for a short time.

If you're planning a short trip to the United States, you must, with certain exceptions, obtain a "nonimmigrant" (temporary) visa. Below we summarize who qualifies for the various types of visas. For details, including how to apply for a visa, see U.S. Immigration Made Easy, by Ilona Bray (Nolo).

Types of Nonimmigrant Visas

You must choose the specific purpose of your trip (such as tourism or going to school) and apply for a specialized visa that authorizes that activity and no other. Each type of nonimmigrant visa is identified by a letter-number combination. You may already be familiar with the more popular ones: B-2 (visitor), E-2 (investor), F-1 (student), and H-1B (specialty worker). See the chart below for a complete list of the most commonly used codes and descriptions.

Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

K-1. Fiances or fiancees  of U.S. citizens coming to the U.S. for the purpose of getting married.

K-2. Minor, unmarried children of K-1 visa holders.

K-3. Spouses of U.S. citizen petitioners awaiting USCIS approval of their immigrant visa petition and the availability of an immigrant visa.

K-4. Unmarried children of K-3 visa holders.

L-1. Intracompany transferees who work as managers, executives, or persons with specialized knowledge.

L-2. Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders.

M-1. Vocational or other nonacademic students, other than language students.

M-2. Spouses and children of M-1 non immigrant visa holders.

M-3. Citizens or residents of Mexico or Canada commuting to the U.S. to attend vocational school.

N-8. Parents of certain special immigrants.

N-9. Children of certain special immigrants or N-9 non immigrant visa holders.

NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, and NATO-5. Representatives, officials, and experts coming to the U.S. under applicable provisions of the NATO Treaty, and their immediate family members.

NATO-6. Civilians accompanying military forces on missions authorized under the NATO Treaty, and their immediate family members.

NATO-7. Attendants, servants, or personal employees of NATO-1 through NATO-6 visas holders, and their immediate family members.

O-1. Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

O-2. Essential support staff of O-1 visa holders.

O-3. Spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

P-1. Internationally recognized athletes and entertainers, and their essential support staff.

P-2. Entertainers coming to perform in the U.S. through a government-recognized exchange program.

P-3. Artists and entertainers coming to the U.S. in a group to present culturally unique performances.

P-4. Spouses and children of P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holders.

Q-1. Exchange visitors coming to the U.S. to participate in international cultural exchange programs.

Q-2. Participants in the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program (Walsh visas)

Q-3. Spouses and children of Q-1 visa holders.

R-1. Ministers and other workers of recognized religions.

R-2. Spouses and children of R-1 visa holders.

S-5. People coming to the U.S. to supply information to about a criminal organization.

S-6. People coming to the U.S. to provide information about a terrorist organization.

T-1.  Victims of trafficking in persons.

T-2, T-3.  Spouses and children of victims of trafficking.

TN. Trade visas for Canadians and Mexicans.

U-1. People who have suffered "substantial physical or mental abuse" as a result of certain U.S. criminal violations including domestic violence and who are assisting law enforcement authorities.

U-2, U-3. Spouses and children of U-1 visa holders.

V. Spouses and children of U.S. lawful permanent resident petitioners who have already waited three years for the approval of their visa petition or for an immigrant visa to become available, so long as their visa petition was submitted on or before December 21, 2000.

 Green Cards

At the Immigration Law Offices of Noelle Sharp we work with our clients to develop the most efficient path to permanent residence.  The permanent residence process generally consists of three general stages: (i) labor certification; (ii) immigrant petition on behalf of the foreign national worker; and (iii) adjustment of status. Depending upon the job and the foreign national’s credentials, some mix of these three stages will form the backbone of the process for a particular foreign national worker.  In the meantime, we help obtain and maintain temporary status and interim work and travel authorization, and seek expedited processing where needed.  We apply for waivers and other relief when needed. Our immigration attorney will defend permanent residents in removal and other proceedings.

Categories of people who can apply for a green card, to make their home in the U.S.

A green card identifies its holder as a U.S. permanent resident, with rights to enter, exit, work, and live here for their entire life. But before you think about applying, make sure you're eligible under one of the following categories.

1. Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

 Immediate relatives include:

  • spouses of U.S. citizens, including recent widows and widowers

  • unmarried people under age 21 with at least one U.S. citizen parent

  • parents of U.S. citizens, if the U.S. citizen child is at least age 21

  • stepchildren and stepparents of U.S. citizens, if the marriage creating the stepparent/stepchild relationship took place before the child's 18th birthday, and

  • adopted children of U.S, if the adoption took place before the child reached age 16.

 An unlimited number of green cards are available for immediate relatives whose U.S. citizen relatives petition for them -- applicants can get a green card as soon as they get through the paperwork and application process.

2. Other Family Members

 Certain family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are also eligible for green cards -- but not right away. They fall into the "preference categories" listed below, meaning that only a certain number of them will receive green cards each year (480,000). The system is first come, first served -- the earlier the U.S. citizen or permanent resident turns in a visa petition, the sooner the immigrant can apply for a green card. The waits range from approximately three to 24 years in the family preference categories, which include:

  • Family First Preference. Unmarried adults, age 21 or older, who have at least one U.S. citizen parent.

  • Family Second Preference. Section 2A: Spouses and unmarried children of a green card holder, so long as the children are younger than age 21. Section 2B: Unmarried children age 21 or older of a green card holder. 

  • Family Third Preference. Married people, any age, who have at least one U.S. citizen parent. 

  • Family Fourth Preference. Sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens, where the citizen is age 21 or older.

3. Preferred Employees and Workers

 A total of 140,000 green cards are offered each year to people whose job skills are needed in the U.S. market. In most cases, a job offer is also required, and the employer must prove that it has recruited for the job and not found any willing, able, qualified U.S. citizens or residents to hire instead of the immigrant. Because of annual limits, this is a "preference category," and applicants often wait years for an available green card. Here are the subcategories:

 Employment First Preference. Priority workers, including:

  • persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, the sciences, education, business, or athletics

  • outstanding professors and researchers, and

  • managers and executives of multinational companies.

 Employment Second Preference. Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.

 Employment Third Preference. Professionals and skilled or unskilled

 The law allows certain people who have lived illegally in the United States for more than ten years to request permanent residence, usually as a defense in immigration court proceedings. You must also show that your spouse, parent, or children -- who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents -- would face "extraordinary and exceptionally unusual hardship" if you were forced to leave. Consult a lawyer if you think you qualify. Do not go straight to USCIS -- you could cause your own deportation.

 Another remedy called "registry" allows people who have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 1972 to apply for a green card. You'll need to show that you have good moral character and are not inadmissible. Your stay in the United States need not have been illegal -- time spent on a visa counts.

 9. Special Cases

 Individual members of the U.S. Congress have, on occasion, intervened for humanitarian reasons in extraordinary cases, helping someone get permanent residence even if the law would not allow it.



The Immigration Law Offices of Noelle Sharp evaluate, develop  and present claims to citizenship through passport, certificate of citizenship, naturalization, and other applications.  We help clients assert claims to U.S. Citizenship in defense of removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  We represent families in appealing application denials, in both administrative and court proceedings.  We are here to assist our clients by evaluating the prospects of dual citizenship and its ramifications.

U.S. Citizenship by Birth or Through Parents

You may already be a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization and not know it.

U.S. citizenship can be obtained in one of four ways:

    • birth in the United States or its territories

    • birth to U.S. citizen parents (called "acquisition" of citizenship)

    • naturalization (obtaining citizenship after an application and exam), or

    • naturalization of one's parents (called "derivation" of citizenship). 

Some people are already U.S. citizens and don't know it. Most of these people fall into one of three groups:

1. People born in the United States who have lived most of their lives in other countries.

    • If you fall into this category, you may mistakenly believe that your long absence from the country, plus voting or military activities elsewhere, have stripped you of U.S. citizenship. This is not the case.

2. People who have U.S. citizens in their direct line of ancestry.

    • If your parents or grandparents were U.S. citizens, you may not realize that U.S. citizenship has been passed down the line, even if you were born elsewhere and your parents or grandparents haven't lived in the United States for a long time.

3. Children of naturalized U.S. citizens.

    • When parents become naturalized U.S. citizens, their minor children with green cards gain U.S. citizenship automatically. (Children under the age of 18 cannot normally apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens.)

    • You will, however, need to do some research to establish your rights. Here, we'll explore each of the above three possibilities in turn.

Birth in the United States

A child born on American soil automatically gets U.S. citizenship, unless the child is born to a foreign government official who is in the United States as a recognized diplomat. Children born in certain U.S. territories -- Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam -- may also acquire U.S. citizenship. For details, see Title 8 of the U.S. Code, available at Anyone born with U.S. citizenship retains it for life unless he or she deliberately gives it up -- for example, by filing an oath of renunciation.

 Birth to U.S. Citizen Parents ("Acquitsition")

 In many circumstances, even though a child is born outside the United States, if at least one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the child's birth, the child automatically "acquires" citizenship. When this child marries and has children, those children may also acquire U.S. citizenship.

The laws governing whether or not a child born outside of the United States acquires U.S. citizenship from parents have changed several times. You'll need to look at the law that was in effect on the date of the child's birth (and the parents' birth, if grandparents were U.S. citizens) for guidance. These laws differ for the following time periods:

    • prior to May 24, 1934

    • May 25, 1934 to January 12, 1941

    • January 13, 1941 to December 23, 1952

    • December 24, 1952 to November 13, 1986, and

    • November 14, 1986 to present.

Naturalization of Parents ("Derivation")

When a parent naturalizes, his or her children may "derive" U.S. citizenship automatically, provided they have green cards and are under age 18 and living with the parent at the time. Becoming a U.S. citizen in this way has a special benefit: A child who gets U.S. citizenship through the naturalization of either or both parents does not have to participate in a naturalization ceremony.

The laws on the automatic naturalization of children have varied over the years. Whether or not you are a U.S. citizen is determined by the laws that existed when your parent's naturalization took place. These laws differ for the following time periods:

    • parents who naturalized before May 24, 1934

    • parents who naturalized between May 24, 1934 and January 12, 1941

    • parents who naturalized between January 13, 1941 and December 23, 1952

    • parents who naturalized between December 24, 1952 and October 4, 1978

    • parents who naturalized between October 5, 1978 and February 26, 2001, and

    • parents who naturalized between February 27, 2001 and the present. 

 Proving Your U.S. Citizenship

If you have a claim to U.S. citizenship based on one of the laws discussed above, you should acquire a passport or other document to prove it.