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The process of becoming a permanent resident—or even a citizen—of the United States starts with obtaining a green card. Securing the appropriate visa can be a life-changing event, but the process is not always simple. You have an opportunity to rely on experienced immigration attorneys to give you a chance at the best possible outcome.
There are serious risks that come with taking on this challenge alone. One missed deadline or application error could cost you greatly. A Gastonia green card lawyer could help you select the right visa program, assist with the preparation of your application, and answer your questions during every step of the process.
While there are many ways to qualify for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, each application is carefully considered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A lawyer in Gastonia could help pursue a green card under the following circumstances:
One of the most common ways to secure a green card is by having a family member serve as a sponsor. This family member must be either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Immediate family members of citizens—including their spouses and young children—have priority under immigration law. Other family members can still qualify, but the process can be lengthy.
Many people come to this country to further their career. Some of the visas that allow them to work here also provide a path to citizenship. It is important to note that not all of these programs will result in a green card. Some foreign workers will only qualify for temporary visas that require their eventual return.
Federal law sets out specific subsets of foreign residents that have the right to immigrate to this country even if they would not otherwise qualify. This category includes several very specific exceptions to immigration law that are unrelated to each other. Examples include:
Qualifying for special immigrant status is rare, but it still possible. Relying on the support of experienced legal counsel is important for anyone pursuing this option.
Regardless of the type of visa sought, there are two different processes for applying. Each option is different, and selecting the appropriate one depends on that person’s physical location. A Gastonia green card attorney could assist with either path.
For anyone currently in the United States, adjustment of status is the correct approach. This option allows a person to apply for a change to their legal status without having to leave the country. It is mostly used when a person applies to change from a non-immigrant visa to an immigrant program.
Consular processing is the only option for applicants located outside of the country. They must wait in the nation where they initially applied from and go through the interview process at their local U.S. consulate.
If you plan to navigate the immigration system, you don’t have to do so alone. Relying on experienced legal counsel could help you get the green card you need to start a new life in the United States. Contact a Gastonia green card lawyer today to learn more.