Achieving legal permanent residence in the United States can be a lengthy and labor-intensive process, especially if you have never directly interacted with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services before. Between the various qualifying criteria for LPR status, the numerous documents and forms you must include in your application, and the months or even years you might end up waiting for a response, going through this process alone can be understandably overwhelming.
Fortunately, you do not have to handle your Green Card application alone if you seek help from an experienced attorney. Once retained, your dedicated Huntsville Green Card lawyer could walk you through every stage of the application process and work to ensure your application is as comprehensive and compelling as possible.
There are a number of different circumstances that may allow someone to apply for a Green Card in the United States, including status as a refugee or asylee, a history of victimization through abuse, crime, or human trafficking, the diversity visa lottery, and qualification under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Generally, though, individuals who apply for Green Cards in Huntsville will do so either through their family or through their employer, both of which are processes a Huntsville Green Card attorney could provide important assistance with.
In the former case, anyone who is the spouse, widow(er), fiancé(e), child, parent, or sibling of a current U.S. citizen is eligible to apply for LPR status based on that familial connection, albeit in different orders of priority. Eligibility for a family-based Green Card also extends to spouses and unmarried children of current U.S. legal permanent residents.
As for the latter case, USCIS establishes three “preference” categories for employment-based Green Cards, which—in order of priority—provide Green Card eligibility to immigrant workers with extraordinary abilities in specialized fields, have an advanced degree and/or exceptional ability in the field in which they work, skilled workers, professional workers, and unskilled workers. Immigrant investors who intend to or have already begun investing a significant amount of money in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 jobs in the United States may also be eligible to apply for a Green Card.
The Green Card application process begins with the person who will sponsor the prospective Green Card recipient completing and submitting one of various forms depending on the specific type of sponsorship. For example, someone filing for a family-based Green Card would need their sponsoring family member to fill out and submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, while employers sponsoring foreign workers would need to complete Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
Once USCIS approves this petition and confirms that a visa is available, the Green Card applicant must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and complete both a biometrics screening and a USCIS interview once they are scheduled. After these steps are complete, the applicant will receive a final decision on their application.
Whether you have a sponsor supporting your Green Card application or are pursuing a Green Card independently through a specialized program, knowing what to expect from the application process is often crucial to achieving a successful outcome from it. Even in the best-case scenario, USCIS generally takes months to process applications for LPR status, and even one mistake or failure to provide key information could result in months or even years of delays.
No matter what stage of the application process you are in, working with a Huntsville Green Card lawyer could boost your chances of a favorable final outcome. Learn more by calling today.