Lawful permanent residence is an “immigrant” status and not to be confused with U.S. citizenship). Permanent residency allows an individual to permanently live and work in the U.S. One way to become a permanent resident is through family sponsorship. As the United States promotes the family unity, U.S. citizens and lawful permanents may file petitions for their immediate relatives (spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old) well as other close relatives, such as brothers or sisters to come and live permanently in the United States. However, those relatives often face long quota backlogs waiting for immigrant visas to become available. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor or be sponsored through family relationship.
The Family-Based Immigration categories are:
- Immediate Relatives (marriage, parents and unmarried children under the age of 21
- Other Close Family Members
You can apply for work authorization as part of your green card application. Work authorization will take approximately 2-3 months to arrive and is designed to allow the foreign national to legally work in the United States while waiting for his/her green card.
Unless you are in the H1B visa or L-1 visa statuses and you have a valid visa for these statuses in your passport, you cannot travel outside of the United States after submitting a green card application until you receive advance parole. If you travel outside of the United States while your green card application is pending before receiving advance parole, you will be deemed to have abandoned your green card application and it will be denied, unless you are in H-1B or L-1 status. Advance parole generally takes up to 30-60 days to receive.
If you have any unlawful presence issues or you are an overstay, you should NOT use advance parole as you could be subject to a 3 or 10 year bar if you leave the country. Furthermore, you should be aware that if you do use advance parole to re-enter the U.S. after a trip abroad, you will be treated as an “arriving alien”. This can be problematic if you have any issues with your application.
It is important that you fully understand your situation and the requirements of your case, as each green card case is different. You will have to submit numerous documents and detailed information about you and your family member. The preparation of all applications and documents in an accurate, organized, and legally compliant manner is extremely important to the success of your case and can help avoid delays and potential denials.
We thoroughly review and prepare all cases to ensure legal compliance and a successful outcome green card application prepared properly by an experienced and trustworthy immigration lawyer can not only decrease your wait for a green card, but it can also be crucial in avoiding costly delays and/or denials. A green card application that is denied or filed incorrectly can result in very serious consequences, such as being put in removal (deportation) proceedings.
Please contact us to discuss your case and we will explain the green card process and time frame, and outline exactly what you need to prepare and what you can expect. We will analyze potential scenarios and clarify options, advise and provide assistance with collecting required documentation and information, ensure all aspects of the case are legally compliant, complete all required forms, compile all the necessary items for the application, and submit everything to USCIS, serve as your legal representative and communicate with USCIS throughout the entire process, monitor the entire green card application process to ensure efficiency and smoothness in processing.