Given the number of people seeking green cards in the United States, it would stand to reason that the process would be easy to understand. Unfortunately, there are many misapprehensions about green cards and the process to obtain them, and one of the most common misunderstandings concerns the use of an attorney.

The federal government does not require an applicant seeking a green card—or a sponsor petitioning on his or her behalf—to be represented by a lawyer. Even though it is not necessary, it is usually best to seek legal advice and assistance from a knowledgeable Aurora green card lawyer. A seasoned immigration attorney familiar with the process of obtaining a green card could ensure that all documentation is filed on time and help individuals with any concerns they may have.

Common Misunderstandings About Green Cards

Many people seek a green card because it will enable them to work legally in the United States, but they may not entirely understand the responsibilities and privileges that come with it. It is important to understand that a green card does not provide the full privileges of U.S. citizenship.

For example, a green card holder may not be able to sponsor as many individuals for immigration as a legal citizen could. In addition, a green card holder may be subject to deportation for violating the terms of a visa or committing a crime.

Another aspect of a green card not always understood is the requirement to report income and pay taxes. Immigrants are often expected to report even income earned overseas.

Maintaining Green Card Status

Although a green card lists an expiration date, the status granted by the card is considered permanent and does not automatically expire when the card does. However, a green card holder may lose that permanent status if he or she remains abroad for too long without taking necessary steps to retain residence in the United States.

Moreover, if a green card expires while the holder is overseas, it may prove difficult to return to the United States. An Aurora green card attorney could ensure you understand the various qualifications and restrictions that come with a green card, so you can be sure you are pursuing the best option for your situation.

Qualifying for a Green Card in Aurora

Eligibility for a green card is based on several factors, all of which a qualified lawyer in Aurora could help you understand and demonstrate as needed. First, the applicant must be considered admissible to the U.S. or have obtained a waiver of admissibility.

Second, the applicant must meet the criteria for one or more of the immigrant categories established by U.S. law. Family connections and professional opportunities provide the basis for eligibility for many applicants. Others may become eligible due to refugee or asylum status or other provisions such as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

Before most applicants may formally apply for the immigrant visa, they must have a qualified sponsor file an immigration petition on his or behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After the petition is approved, the visa application process begins. An applicant may have a long wait period before he or she may be considered current for processing.

Get Help from an Aurora Green Card Attorney

The numbers of permanent visas issued each year are limited, and the agencies who handle the applications receive much more than they can process in a short amount of time. If the information on a petition or application is incomplete or otherwise questionable, the application may be delayed for even longer.

Many applicants find it helpful to work with an experienced Aurora green card lawyer who could oversee the process and ensure that they complete requirements and submit all documentation correctly. A knowledgeable attorney could also assist if a problem arises such as an unreasonable delay or the potential for removal proceedings.

Advice from an experienced immigration advocate could make the process easier and much less stressful. To learn how a green card lawyer may be able to help in your situation, call today.

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