What is a Green Card?
If you are looking for a way to obtain permanent residence in the United States, you will need a green card. Our Chicago green card lawyer can help you with this immigration process, and can answer the questions that emerge along the way. There are a few different kinds of green cards available to you. Having the right Chicago green card attorney to help you determine your situation will assist you with preparing for your next steps and knowing what to expect. If you are able to receive a green card in the U.S., you’ll be able to live and work legally anywhere in the U.S. and even begin the process of qualifying for citizenship after three to five years.
Although it is often referred to as the green card, it’s formally known as the Permanent Resident Card or Form I-551. Over one million green cards are issued by the United States government each year, but every applicant has to meet certain requirements to be eligible. Most of the green cards awarded by the government are given to family members of current U.S. citizens. After the family category, workers who are looking for jobs in the U.S. are most likely to get a green card. However, there are many potential categories through which a green card holder can qualify. On this page you’ll learn more about these types and how a Chicago green card lawyer can help.
A Chicago green card lawyer can be a person who helps you significantly with the green card process. Understanding the benefits of obtaining a green card and having a lawyer who can assist you in navigating the complexities of the right documentation to submit can help you when preparing for this process. Obtaining your green card can be an exciting experience at the conclusion, but knowing what to anticipate and understanding the benefits of hiring a Chicago green card lawyer is important.
Basics of Getting a Green Card
If you are interested in receiving a green card to work, stay or live in the United States for longer than any temporary time period, you should understand that the procedures and rules associated with this immigration process can be very complicated. There are many different inconsistencies, exceptions, and specific paperwork that must be submitted in the green card process and the basic laws surrounding permanent residence can be very confusing.
Mix-ups, challenges, obstacles and delays are almost inevitable in a green card application process. Having a Chicago green card lawyer who has assisted other people with this process before can help you to avoid catastrophic mistakes.
Why Is Getting a Green Card So Complex?
Many people recognize the complex and difficult nature of the United States immigration system. It can be very overwhelming to sort out details related to immigration, green cards, visas, citizenship, nationalization, and other benefits. Many people don’t have an easily approved or straightforward immigration case. All it takes is one criminal conviction, previous overstay on a visa, job loss or a serious health problem for the U.S. government to classify someone as inadmissible. This requires extra effort and work to convince immigration authorities to approve a green card application.
Furthermore, there is also always the risk that the U.S. government receiving your material could misplace part or all of your documents; meaning that you might have to receive multiple follow-up conversations or messages about documents that you don’t believe you need to provide or that don’t currently exist.
As with any form of legal representation, hiring a green card lawyer in Chicago can require payment of a fee. However, this payment of a fee could be beneficial when you know that your case is being managed by a professional who has helped other people navigate the complexities of the green card process.
What Are the Five Primary Ways to Obtain a Green Card?
Green card is also referred to as lawful permanent residency and is a method for people who are not citizens of the United States to work and live in the country while enjoying many of the same privileges of U.S. citizenship. It is important to remember, however, that citizenship and green cards are two different things in the United States. Both require their own specific set of processes and this is why it is beneficial to retain a Chicago green card lawyer or Chicago citizenship lawyer to help you with your individual case.
There are several different steps involved in getting a green card. First, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has to approve your immigrant petition that has been submitted for you. This is usually supplied by a relative or an employer and should be a form of documentation reviewed by your Chicago green card lawyer. Having this information reviewed from the outset decreases the chances of potential mistakes. After the immigrant petition has been approved for you by USCIS, an immigrant visa number has to be obtained regardless of whether or not you’re located in the U.S. You might need to adjust to permanent resident status if you are in the United States after this point in time.
There are five primary ways that you could be eligible to receive a green card. These include:
- Being part of a special class of individuals that the US Government has opted to grant green card status to.
- Winning the diversity visa lottery to get a green card.
- Obtaining previous refugee status or through a grant of asylum due to persecution in the homeland.
- Sponsorship through a US based employer.
- Sponsorship from a relative who is a US lawful permanent resident or citizen
If you have relative who already has a green card or has gone through the naturalization process or is a citizen, you could be able to receive permanent status in the United States. Furthermore, an employer might be able to sponsor you to obtain a green card. The U.S. employer can sponsor a foreign-born employee through permanent residence. The employer must show through the Department of Labor that there are no U.S. qualified workers available for the job for which the immigrant visa is being pursued.
How Long Does It Take to Receive My Green Card?
You must get an immigrant visa number related to the preference category in which you fall if you intend to immigrate to the United States as a relative of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen. Individuals are sorted into categories via the country’s preference system. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens including unmarried children, parents, and spouses are not required to wait to receive an immigrant visa number to be eligible after the visa petition submitted for them has been approved by USCIS.
At that point in time, an immigrant visa number becomes available immediately. Relatives in other categories, however, do not have to meet the immigration number required for the following preference rules:
- First preference goes to adult aged 21 years or older, unmarried sons/daughters of US citizens.
- Second preference for unmarried children of lawful permanent residents, spouses of the same, and unmarried sons/daughters of the same.
- Third preference; married daughters and sons of US citizens.
- Fourth preference; sisters and brothers of adult US citizens.
Contact Our Chicago Green Card Lawyer Today!
The Chicago green card lawyers at Sverdloff Law can help you understand your immigration options and fight for your right to live in the United States. Learn the next best steps to take for your green card application. Contact our green card attorney in Chicago at (312) 238-9090 or schedule a consultation today!