Getting a green card can bring incalculable benefits to an immigrant. Approval of a green card application means that one is now a permanent, legal resident of the United States. If they choose, they can eventually use the green card as a springboard to full U.S. citizenship. And whatever the future holds, an immigrant, their family, and their community, now have the stability that comes from knowing that their status in the United States is secure.
Reasons for Approving a Green Card
Immigration applications of all kinds need a basis for their submission and green cards are no different. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has several categories in which applications fall under.
Adjustment of Status (AOS): Someone who originally came to the United States on a temporary visa seeks to have their status upgraded to permanent.
Family-Based Reasons: A person can be sponsored by a family member who is a United States citizen or has a green card of their own. The most common of these is for a spouse, fiancé(e), or other immediate family member. Family-based petitions can also be for those in the extended family, although there are tighter limits on this latter group.
Employment-Based Reasons: There are six separate sub-categories under the overarching category of employment petitions. Each sub-category has a hard cap of 140,000 approvals per year ,with further limitations on a per-country basis. The sub-categories cover reasons ranging from extraordinary ability to educational achievement to money invested to domestic labor needs within the U.S. to approvals for religious-based workers and interns.
USCIS can also approve green cards for reasons pertaining to distress, such as proof of abuse in one’s country of origin or if they were a victim of human trafficking and other criminal activity.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A GREEN CARD
Form 1-485 is what’s used for a green card and our Chicago green card immigration attorneys work with clients to ensure that applications are filled out correctly and completely. USCIS has a large backlog of applications and a process that can be tedious even when things go smoothly, can be significantly delayed by mistakes and omissions on an application.
Applicants are expected to provide two photographs in passport-style format. This is in addition to their government-issued photo ID card. A birth certificate is also required. If the certificate cannot be located or does not exist, other evidence of the date and location of birth can be accepted. If that is unavailable, it must be proven that the certificate or information is unavailable.
An applicant will also need an affidavit of support from someone who is already a permanent resident of the United States (either a full citizen or green card holder). The affidavit affirms the person’s willingness to be a sponsor—that is, to assume financial responsibility for the green card applicant for a period of at least 10 years or until the applicant becomes a full citizen themselves.
Who sponsors the applicant will likely depend on what type of petition is being filed. One filing an application for family-based reasons will probably have a family member prepared to step forward and file the affidavit of support. Those applying on employment grounds can have their employer be the sponsor.
The application process also includes a personal interview with immigration officials. Applicants are allowed to have their attorney present for this interview. An experienced lawyer from our office, one who has been through interviews like these several times over, can work with applicants on how to best present themselves, their information, and their case for a permanent green card. In an immigration system where nearly one-third of applicants are denied and others see the process delayed, a good attorney might end up making the difference.
NORTHBROOK IMMIGRATION LAWYERS WHO HAVE BEEN THERE
At Dworsky Law Firm, we do more than represent immigrants and their families. A lot of us have been through the process ourselves. That starts at the top. Our founding partner, Attorney Ashley D. Dworsky came to the United States via the immigration system. Several more of us who work here have as well. We understand the system because we’ve been through it, and we understand what you and your family are going through while you wait. We’ve been doing this for over 25 years and want to help you next.
Call today at (847) or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
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3400 Dundee Road, Suite 200, Northbrook, IL 60062
Offices in Northbrook, Johannesburg and Hyderabad.