Status as a lawful permanent resident, often referred to in Bolingbrook as an “LPR,” confers many benefits. Known by the signature green card identifying their status, LPRs have the ability to work legally and live in the United States for as long as they want, so long as they comply with the terms of their visa and follow U.S. laws. Many LPRs become eligible to obtain citizenship, and they can also sponsor family members to immigrate.
Applying for legal permanent resident (LPR) status in Bolingbrook can be an arduous process, however. Applicants are subject to quotas based on the type of visa for which they are applying and the country in which they were born. The quotas can cause significant wait times for visa processing. People seeking LPR status often choose to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to avoid mistakes that could lead to even longer delays.
Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing
Individuals who are physically located in Bolingbrook or elsewhere inside the U.S. may apply for legal permanent resident status through the adjustment of status process. This enables them to obtain a green card without the need to return to their home country for visa processing.
Those who are outside the U.S. can apply for LPR status at a U.S. Department of State consulate in their home country. This method is known as consular processing. Regardless of the processing method used, to obtain LPR status, an individual needs an immigrant visa. The process of getting a visa often begins with the filing of a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Filing an Immigrant Petition
Most individuals need to have an employer or qualifying relative in the U.S. file an immigration petition on their behalf. The petition is usually filed with USCIS offices in the U.S. but can be accomplished abroad in certain circumstances. Some people with unique work skills may file a petition on their own.
After USCIS approves a petition for immigration, the agency forwards the information to the National Visa Center at the U.S. State Department. Individuals who are granted asylum or refugee status may apply for LPR status without the need for a petition.
Working with the National Visa Center
The National Visa Center should notify applicants when the offices have received the petition from USCIS. However, receipt of an approved petition does not automatically move the application process for LPR status in Bolingbrook to the next phase. In many cases, applicants will need to wait for a visa to become available. Depending on the type of visa and the applicant’s country of origin, it can take many years for an applicant’s place in line to become “current” and ready for action.
The Visa Center then notifies the applicant when it is time to start pre-processing, and when the prospective immigrant should file the visa application and supporting documentation. After the documentation requirements are fulfilled, the applicant will undergo an interview and the agency will decide whether to issue an immigrant visa.
Help Applying for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) Status in Bolingbrook
If information on an immigration petition or visa application is incomplete or inaccurate, staff members may set the paperwork aside to seek clarification. Sometimes, an agency will send a request for information that never arrives or goes to an old address. For many reasons, the application process could stall, leading to unnecessary delays.
To avoid potential pitfalls, it could be helpful to work with a seasoned immigration attorney when applying for legal permanent resident (LPR) status in Bolingbrook. An advisor who understands the process could help ensure that information meets agency guidelines and expectations.