Permanent Resident Cards: How to Lawfully Obtain Them

permanent residency cardObtaining a permanent resident card or green card, allows you to work and live in the United States permanently. This process involves the hiring of immigration lawyers Lakeland FL through Espinoza Law Offices P.A. There are several steps that you must follow and a general application process, which can be difficult to navigate without an attorney.

Fill Out Necessary Paperwork

Before you can fill out any necessary paperwork, you must find out if you are eligible to receive a green card. If you are indeed eligible, you will need to file Form I-485-Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This must be filed with USCIS including all supporting documents and fees. This process will help greatly if you have a business immigration attorney.

Once you have sent in your form, USCIS will review your application and schedule an interview with you. This interview is also known as the consular processing. It is held at the US embassy. There are also three different green card categories:

  • Diversity via program
  • Employment-based categories
  • Family-based categories

The process of consular processing has several steps including:

  • Determine your basis to immigrate– This is the first step that most immigrants are eligible for. There are other immigrants that may become a permanent resident by obtaining asylum or refugee status.
  • File the immigrant petition– Once you find out the category that best fits your situation, you will need another person to file an immigrant petition for you.
  • Wait for a decision on your petition– USCIS will notify the petitioner once a decision has been reached.
  • Wait for notification from the national visa center– The National Visa Center is responsible for collecting visa application fees and supporting documents and will let you know when the petition is received.
  • Go to your appointment– Once a visa becomes available, you will be scheduled for an interview.
  • Notify the national visa center of any changes– The center will contact you regarding the information they need. There is no need to contact them.
  • After your visa is granted- You will receive a packet of information if you are granted an immigrant visa.
  • Receive your green card– If you have paid the USCIS fee, you will receive your green card in the mail after you arrive in the U.S.

Depending on the green card category you qualify for, admission requirements, waiting times, applications process and features, costs, and the authorities responsible will all differ. This is one of the main reasons why you should confide in immigration attorneys Tampa FL. If you are having a hard time identifying which category applies to you, your attorney can help.

How an Attorney Can Help

Even though an attorney is not needed in order to obtain a green card, or become a permanent resident, it is highly recommended. An immigration lawyer near Tampa Bay should be hired because the rules and procedures are complicated. U.S. immigration law is full of inconsistences and exceptions. Many of the forms required for you to fill out can also cause government delays and can be extremely overwhelming. It is inevitable to experience mix-ups, and mistakes made by you can have extreme consequences.

Many people are extremely happy that they made the decision to hire a family immigration lawyer. It takes many attorneys a long time to become comfortable and familiar with the ins and outs of the different types of green cards, visas, and other benefits.

Also, many people do not have a straightforward, easily approved case since the law is written to protect the U.S. from entry by people who may present a security to health threat to the U.S. or for other reasons. It requires more effort to approve an application if one criminal conviction, one health problem, or a job loss is present. Again, with the help of a deportation defense lawyer, you can expect no mistakes.