Short Hills Green Card Consultants
Experienced Immigration Representation
If you are interested in naturalizing and becoming a U.S. citizen, you will have to first obtain a green card. A green card is a type of visa that grants lawful permanent residency.
As a lawful permanent resident, you can live and work practically anywhere in the United States and enjoy several other key benefits, including the ability to sponsor certain family members for green cards. Only lawful permanent residents can apply to become permanent citizens after a mandatory waiting period.
Our Short Hills green card consultants at Worldwide Legal Services can help you and your loved ones become lawful permanent residents. Our team has over 50 years of combined professional experience and has handled more than 10,000 cases. We are extensively familiar with all methods of obtaining green cards, and no matter your situation, we are committed to leveraging our knowledge and resources to help you build your American Dream.
Explore your options for obtaining a green card today by calling or contacting us online. Payment plans are available, and we offer our services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
How To Legally Obtain a Green Card
There are several means through which you can apply for a green card. Some methods are more efficient than others.
Green cards can be obtained through:
Current U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can sponsor certain family members for green cards. U.S. citizens can leverage the immediate relative categories, which include:
- And unmarried children under the age of 21
Because immediate relative categories have no annual cap, beneficiaries will face no additional wait for a visa once their sponsorship petition has been approved.
Lawful permanent residents can sponsor their spouses and unmarried children through the family preference categories. U.S. citizens can also sponsor their:
- Adult children
- And married children under these categories
Family preference categories do have an annual cap, meaning beneficiaries must wait for a visa to become available after their petition has been approved. The length of the wait will depend on the case backlog, the beneficiary’s country of origin, and their familial relationship with the sponsor. Our team can help you sponsor your loved ones for green cards as efficiently as possible.
Businesses based in the United States can sponsor prospective employees for green cards for the purposes of filling positions that cannot otherwise be filled by domestic workers. Employment-based green cards are distributed across preference categories that priorities those with “extraordinary abilities” and advanced degrees.
- Bachelor’s degrees
- Skilled workers
- Unskilled workers
- And immigrant investors can also qualify
In many situations, your U.S.-based prospective employer must obtain labor certification before proceeding with seeking your visa. This complicated process involves proving there are no domestic workers willing or able to take the job at a fair industry rate. We regularly work with individuals and businesses to navigate the employment immigration process.
Individuals granted asylum status in the United States can apply for a green card after 1 year.
Obtaining asylum status involves demonstrating past persecution or a “well-founded fear” of future persecution in your home country or previous country of residence on the basis of your :
- Political beliefs
- Or membership in a particular social group
You will need to be able to draw a direct line between the past or feared persecution and the protected ground. We regularly assist individuals who seek asylum as a removal defense as well as those who proactively after entering the country. If you have already been granted asylum status, we can help you take the necessary steps to secure your green card.
The Diversity Lottery
The United States annually issues 50,000 green cards to individuals and their families through a lottery system. In order to enter the lottery, you must meet two main requirements.
Your country of birth must be a nation that does not send many immigrants to the U.S., and you must have a certain level of education. Our Short Hills green card consultants can determine if you meet the lottery’s requirements and help you enter at the appropriate time.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Each year, USCIS issues up to 10,000 green cards to entrepreneurs that make qualifying investments in U.S.-based commercial enterprises. To obtain an EB-5 green card, you must invest a minimum of $1,800,000 in any new or existing business.
Alternatively, you only need to invest $900,000 if you target a USCIS-approved rural or economically distressed area. The investment must create or preserve at least 10 American jobs within 2 years. If you are an entrepreneur willing to make this level of investment, our team can guide you through the process.
Victims of certain serious crimes can obtain a U visa if they are able to meaningfully assist law enforcement in an ensuing investigation. U visas are typically valid for up to 4 years, and you can apply for a green card after 3 years. Timing is extremely important when seeking a green card on a U visa, but our team can carefully guide you through the process.
T visas are similar to U visas but are specifically intended for victims of human trafficking. These victims can seek relief through the T visa if they are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in an ensuing investigation. Like with U visas, T visas last for up to 4 years, and beneficiaries can apply for green cards after 3 years.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Family members must typically be sponsored by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident they are related to. However, if a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is abusive, certain children, spouses, and parents may be eligible to self-petition for green cards. We can determine if you qualify and facilitate this method of obtaining a green card without the cooperation of your abusive family member.
Special Immigrant Categories and Other Exceptions
A myriad of additional exceptions and options are available in miscellaneous categories. We can review your situation and determine whether any of these exceptions may apply to you or your loved ones.
When your petition for a green card is approved and a visa is available to you, you will need to apply for an adjustment of status if you are currently in the United States or consular processing if you are abroad. Upon completing either of these processes, you will receive your physical green card and will be authorized to live and work almost anywhere in the United States.
Lawful permanent residents still have responsibilities they must fulfill and can still be targeted for removal if they break certain rules. For example, you must formally notify United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) whenever you move and change your primary address. You must also continue to meet good moral character requirements, which generally means not being convicted of any serious crimes.
Most green cards will be valid for 10-year periods but can be easily renewed. If you obtained your green card through a marriage that is less than 2 years old, your green card will be “conditional” and expire after only 2 years. You can remove conditions by filing a joint petition in the 90-day window before the green card expires. Failing to remove conditions on a green card will result in your status lapsing, leading to the accumulation of unlawful presence and possibly removal proceedings.
We understand that the U.S. immigration system can be unnecessarily convoluted, and it can be frustratingly easy to make honest mistakes. Our Short Hills green card consultants at Worldwide Legal Services can provide comprehensive assistance if you have inadvertently broken a rule and consequently jeopardized your permanent residency. Our team has decades of experience handling these matters for our clients and can work to efficiently resolve conflicts and protect your future in the United States.
Request a consultation with our team by calling or contacting us online.