Tuscaloosa Green Card Lawyer
Status as a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the United States confers multiple benefits that could help you achieve your life and career goals. With a Green Card, you can work in the United States, travel abroad and return without excess hassle, and bring your spouse and children to join you here. Obtaining a Green Card is also the first step to achieving citizenship.
If you have decided to apply for LPR status, talk to a Tuscaloosa Green Card lawyer as early in the process as possible. A knowledgeable immigration attorney could explain the timeframes involved, help you compile documents, and confirm you have completed the necessary paperwork correctly.
Determining Green Card Eligibility
According to 8 United States Code §1153, only certain people are eligible to apply for immigrant visas and later, green cards. Categories of eligible people include immediate family members of U.S. citizens, the spouses and unmarried children of people with LPR status, people with refugee or asylum-seeker status, and anyone holding a certain type of non-temporary employment visa.
Most people applying for green cards qualify through the family, employment, or asylum-seeker categories. However, US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) accepts Green Card applications based on Special Immigrant status. People who might qualify under this category include:
- Some religious workers
- Afghan or Iraqi nationals employed by the US government
- Some international broadcasters
- Retired employees of NATO and other international organizations and their families
- Some children whose families have abandoned or abused them
Other people who might qualify for Green Cards through Special Immigrant status include some foreign nationals employed by the US and their families, former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone government workers, and some physicians who are licensed and practicing in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Green Cards are also available to small groups of people in particular circumstances. For example, victims of human trafficking who hold T or U non-immigrant visas could be eligible. Some people of Native American ancestry born in Canada, some Liberian and Cuban nationals, and people born in the United States to a foreign diplomat could also apply for a Green Card. Finally, winners of the annual Diversity Lottery are eligible to apply.
While the scope of people who are eligible to apply for a Green Card might seem overwhelming, a seasoned Tuscaloosa attorney could evaluate a specific foreign nationals’ circumstances to determine whether this permit might be an option.
The Change in Status Application Process
If a foreign national is already in the United States, they begin the process of applying for a Green Card by submitting a form I-485, which is an application for a change in status, along with an immigrant petition. The type of petition required depends on the applicant’s basis of eligibility for a green card.
If an immigrant qualifies for a Green Card due to family member status, the family member must submit Form I-130, a Petition for an Alien Relative. Similarly, people who qualify due to employment must have their employer submit Form I-140, which is a Petition for an Alien Worker.
Once a green card petitioner submits their initial application, petitions, and other supporting documents, the FBI conducts a background check. After that process is complete, the applicant must wait for the USCIS office to contact them for an interview. This interview is often the critical event that determines whether an application succeeds. A knowledgeable lawyer in Tuscaloosa could devote considerable effort to preparing a Green Card applicant for the interview and increasing their chances of success.
Take Your Case to a Tuscaloosa Green Card Attorney
Getting your Green Card could change your life but obtaining the permit is challenging. Fortunately, working with an experienced legal professional could help the process go more smoothly.
A Tuscaloosa Green Card lawyer has helped many people like you adjust their immigration status and obtain their desired permit. Call today to schedule an appointment with our legal team.