A Green Card attorney can assist you in obtaining a lawful and permanent residency status. Understanding the legal process of a Green Card, or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) card application can be time-consuming when you do it on your own. Seeking a lawyer with a deep comprehension of the United States immigration laws can give you a certain edge. They can help you skillfully establish your eligibility and explore other ways to obtain permanent residency. If you want to live permanently in the United States but don’t know where to start, this article will provide you with what you need. It will cover a general overview of the legal process, including immigration criteria and steps to obtain a permanent resident status.
Why Hire A Green Card Attorney?To successfully navigate the steps to acquire a Green Card, it’s best for you to work with a lawyer who knows immigration law very well. The process of securing an LPR card comes with complex legal procedures and requires a lot of documentation. Green Card lawyers can walk you through the process if you did much research but still need to figure out where to start. They will ensure you do everything appropriately, from the initial step to fulfilling necessary procedures. Lawyers also know that every immigration case presents unique challenges and requires a different approach. Whether it is a family-based petition, employment-based application, or asylum case, they can provide legal assistance tailored to your situation. Essentially, an immigration lawyer is an invaluable ally in securing your LPR status. Their knowledge and experience ensure you do the entire process with minimal mistakes and optimal success.
How Do You Become A Lawful Permanent Resident?The process involves several stages to assess your qualification for permanent residence in the United States. It begins with determining your visa preference category. This can range from family-sponsored to employment-based or other particular classifications.
Determining Visa PreferencesThe Family-sponsored category primarily involves U.S. citizens or permanent residents sponsoring certain family members for a Green Card. The eligibility depends on the relationship with the sponsor, such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. In the employment-based category, an employer in the United States sponsors the applicant. This is common in the case of individuals who may have specific skills that are valuable to the U.S. labor market. Other particular classifications refer to more specific or less common circumstances that qualify you to apply for a permanent resident card. For example, an investor immigration program qualifies some foreigners to qualify for a LPR status. Other unique classifications may include refugees or asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking or crime, and several others.
Submitting The Immigrant PetitionOnce you’ve determined your eligibility category, filing for an immigrant petition is the next step. Depending on your visa preferences, a sponsoring family member or employer will file this for you. In some special cases, you can submit it yourself. After the immigration authorities approve your petition, a visa number will become available. You must then complete a series of forms and provide the supporting documents to submit to the USCIS. You must forward it to the Department of State at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy if you’re outside the United States. This step is known as Adjustment of Status if you’re in the United States or Consular Processing if you’re abroad. Throughout this journey, your immigration attorney plays an invaluable role. They can assist you in compiling and submitting accurate and comprehensive documentation and ensure timely submissions. Your lawyer can also help you explore how to convert your temporary visa to a Green Card.
Can You Obtain Permanent Residency With An H-1B Visa?The transition from a temporary work visa to a permanent residency is a significant milestone in the lives of many workers in America. The initial step in converting the H-1B Visa to a Green Card is identifying a sponsoring employer. Your employer must agree to offer you a permanent job position and support you throughout the LPR process. After that, they must obtain a Labor Certification, also known as PERM. This process will prove to the Department of Labor (DOL) that insufficient qualified U.S. workers can fill the position. Your employer must also show that employing a foreign worker will not impact the working conditions of U.S. laborers similarly employed. Once the DOL approves the Labor Certification, the management must submit an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140. They must prove that they have the financial ability to pay their offered wage. After the approval of the I-140 and a visa number is available, you can apply for an adjustment of status. This process applies if you’re in the United States or have applied for an immigrant visa at a consulate. Aside from this, you can gain a lawful permanent resident status by demonstrating extraordinary ability. This option provides an immigration path that does not require a sponsoring employer or family member.
What Is Extraordinary Ability Immigration?Extraordinary ability immigration, also known as EB-1A, helps individuals who have attained significant acclaim at a national or international level. These people are achievers in science, arts, education, business, or athletics. The criteria to qualify under this category are strict and require substantial proof of extraordinary ability. You also must meet at least three of its ten defined criteria. This includes receiving nationally recognized awards or authoring scholarly articles in the field of expertise. Sometimes, a one-time achievement like a Pulitzer or Olympic Medal may suffice. If you want to convert your temporary visa to permanent residency, you must understand the priority dates in the process. Understanding these dates will keep you updated about the progress of your application.
What Are Priority Dates In The Immigration Process?In the immigration process, the priority date is crucial. It’s the date when the USCIS receives your immigrant petition. Imagine it as a ticket in line for visa availability—the earlier this date, the sooner you proceed toward getting your visa approved. The priority date holds your place in line and should remain valid until you can apply for AOS or consular processing. This happens only when a visa number becomes available. The availability is updated monthly in the Visa Bulletin by the Department of State. Recognizing, discerning, and managing priority dates are crucial tasks where legal guidance is vital. Your Green Card lawyer will help when your priority date becomes current and strategize the timing of your application filing. Immigration lawyers regularly monitor the Visa Bulletin to inform you about progress. Additionally, having legal representation is vital in cases where the USCIS asks for additional evidence for your application.
What Are Requests For Evidence?Requests for Evidence (RFEs) may arise in the process when the USCIS requires additional clarification or documentation. They usually ask for these before granting an immigration benefit. While RFEs can create extra steps in the process, understanding their purpose and impact is crucial in addressing them effectively. The USCIS issues these for many reasons, such as:
- When you need more supporting documents.
- The application requires complete or consistent information.
- You need further evidence to establish eligibility.