With a green card, you are legally able to live and work in the United States for as long as you want. A green card also enables you to sponsor certain family members to immigrate to the U.S.
Obtaining a green card is, however, an arduous process. Many people find it advantageous to consult a Bolingbrook green card lawyer for help with the application and interview process or to step in to assist when problems arise, or delays occur. When you work with an experienced immigration lawyer, you could feel confident knowing that you are less likely to make mistakes that could cause your application to be delayed or denied.
What Are Green Cards?
A green card is the traditional term for an identification card designating the holder as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. The identification cards used to be issued on green paper, and now, even though they are issued in a more durable format, they still feature a predominantly green color.
How Does Someone Obtain LPR Status?
To gain LPR status, a foreign national needs to obtain a permanent visa, also known as an immigrant visa. The U.S. government issues only a limited number of permanent visas each year, so competition is fierce, and it is essential to document eligibility thoroughly. A Bolingbrook green card attorney could help an applicant prove that he or she qualifies for an immigrant visa.
Eligibility for a Green Card
To be eligible for a permanent visa and obtain a green card, an individual usually must have some connection to the U.S. Often, family members or employers are able to sponsor people for a visa. In other cases, the individual’s status provides grounds for eligibility. Green cards may be issued on the basis of:
- Relationship to a citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Employment by a company in the U.S.
- Grant of asylum or refugee status
- Status as a “special immigrant”
- Diversity visa program
- Continuous residence in the U.S. since 1971
- Other unique qualifications
A green card lawyer in Bolingbrook could review an individual’s circumstances to determine potential eligibility for a green card. Many immigrant visa categories are ranked in order of preference, so if an applicant is eligible in more than one category, an attorney could help determine which option provides the best opportunity for a successful outcome.
The Application Process
In most cases, the first step toward seeking a green card is to have a sponsor file an immigration petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the visa is sought based on employment, many times the employer first needs certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. When someone applies for a visa based on a family connection, the closeness of the relationship has significant bearing on the wait for a visa to become available.
When the petition is granted and the waiting period is over, the individual seeking the green card is asked to submit an application along with supporting documentation, filing fees, and other information. After the visa application has been reviewed, the applicant is invited for an interview.
Consult a Bolingbrook Green Card Attorney
An experienced legal advocate could assist with preparation for a visa interview, as well as all the steps preceding that in the application process. Mistakes or missing information could cause the federal agencies involved to set an application aside or deny it outright. If there is a perception that information was fraudulent, the applicant may be permanently prohibited from seeking a green card.
To avoid costly mistakes, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Bolingbrook green card lawyer who understands the process and the agency requirements. Call today for a confidential consultation to learn more about how an immigration attorney could work to help obtain a green card.