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NEW JERSEY GREEN CARD LAWYER
Concerned about the Green Card process?
Experienced New Jersey Lawyer for Green Card Application
New Jersey immigration attorney Andres Mejer has helped thousands of immigrants solve their immigration problems. When it comes to getting a green card or applying for citizenship, early preparation, careful planning, and getting the help of an experienced green card lawyer can ensure that your immigration process goes smoothly.
US Green Card Lawyer Guiding You and Your Family Through the Complex Process
Our legal team at Andres Mejer Law has valuable knowledge and experience to guide you through the immigration process. Careful planning and preparation can save you tons of time, money, and worries.
- Assess your green card eligibility.
- Evaluate your employment, travel, and criminal background.
- Assist you with USCIS processes.
- Avoid deportation.
- Prepare you for the interview.
Consult a New Jersey immigration attorney today for your Green Card application and other immigration needs.
Green Card Process and Green Card Timeline
What is a Green Card?
A “Green Card” is a card issued by the U.S. Immigration Service that allows certain immigrants to live and work in the United States permanently. Green card holders may also be referred to as a “Legal Permanent Resident,” “Permanent Resident,” or “LPR,” for short. The card issued by the U.S. Immigration Service is no longer green, but the term “Green Card” has been used to describe the card for so long that the name has stuck.
A green card is an identification card for immigrants to identify them as legal permanent residents of the U.S. Immigrants can receive a green card based on their eligibility through employment or family relationships. However, in some instances, there are also other ways to qualify for a green card.
Benefits of a Green Card
A Green Card conveys many benefits to the immigrant holder. It allows them to work, travel within the U.S. and collect most U.S. government benefits, among other things. Perhaps the most significant advantage of being a Green Card holder is that immigrants may apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens after five years.
You will receive legal permanent residence status.
When you receive your green card, USCIS will adjust your immigration status to “legal permanent resident.’ That is why applying for a Green Card is often called an adjustment of status.
As a permanent resident of the United States, you will have the right to live in the U.S. indefinitely. A green card typically eliminates the need to apply for temporary visas repeatedly and provides you with protection against deportation.
You will have the right to work legally in the U.S.
Another benefit of obtaining a green card is that you’ll be given employment authorization in the U.S. This means that you’ll enjoy the same benefits and protections as other employees in the U.S., which includes, minimum wage, worker’s compensation benefits, and overtime pay.
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Restrictions of a Green Card
There are several restrictions that Green Card holders must be aware of to avoid running into problems. For example, it is illegal for Green Card holders to vote in any American elections. Immigrants must also obey the laws of the United States. Even a relatively minor criminal conviction may result in deportation. There are also certain foreign travel restrictions that every Green Card holder must follow.
Green Card Process
The Green Card process is not an easy or quick one in most cases. An experienced New Jersey green card lawyer can certainly make things move faster by avoiding the common mistakes that immigrants make when they go it alone.
Who Can Get a Green Card?
The answer to this is just about anyone can get a Green Card if they are not barred from re-entry or do not qualify as a matter of law providing they are sponsored by a close family member or employer or fall into a couple of other classes. For example, someone with a criminal record, someone who is associated with a terrorist group or someone who has been deported from the US previously and is currently not allowed to re-enter the United States, would not be granted a Green Card. However, to apply for a Green Card, you will need to be one of the following:
- Sponsored by a close family member in the US who is either a citizen or has legal status (family-based immigration).
- Sponsored by an employer (employment-based immigration).
- Winner of the Diversity Lottery
- Be a qualified Alien Entrepreneur
- Be granted Asylum
- Be granted Refugee status
- Or through “The Registry” provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act
How Do I Obtain a Green Card Through Family?
One of the most common ways an alien can obtain lawful permanent residence is through a family member who is already a U.S. citizen. Certain family members can become eligible for a green card through a relative such as:
- Spouses of American citizens
- Parents of adult U.S. citizens
- Unmarried minor children (below 21 years old) of U.S. citizens
These family members are eligible for a green card without waiting for a visa to become available first. Other family members may apply for a green card through a U.S. citizen relative, but they must wait for a visa to become available according to the following preference categories:
- First Preference: Unmarried adult children (21 years old and above) of U.S. citizens
- Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried adult and minor children of permanent residents.
- Third Preference: Spouses and married and minor children of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference: Siblings of adult U.S. citizens
Other visa types also exist for other family members of U.S. citizens, such as a fiancé/fiancée visa and widow/widower visa.
How Do I Obtain a Green Card Through Employment?
Another way you can qualify for a green card is through employment. Employment-based visas are granted to some preference categories as well:
- First Preference: Priority workers with extraordinary abilities such as researchers, professors, and international executives.
- Second Preference: Professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities.
- Third Preference: Skilled workers and professionals
- Fourth Preference: Religious workers
- Fifth Preference: Entrepreneurs and investors
If you don’t qualify for an employment visa, other visa options are available, such as temporary visas and work authorization.An experienced New Jersey immigration lawyer can help you obtain a green card. Consult our law office to find out how we can help you in your immigration journey.
Are There Other Ways I May Qualify for a Green Card?
If you don’t qualify for a green card sponsorship through family or work, there are still plenty of visa options available to you.
Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
You can apply for a green card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the “green card lottery.” This program provides up to 50 000 green cards every year to immigrants from all over the world. However, countries with low immigration rates to the United States are given a higher priority.
Special Immigrant Juveniles
The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program provides an opportunity for foreign-born children who are victims of abuse, neglect, and abandonment and can no longer be reconnected with their parents or family.
Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, or other crimes to become green cardholders in the United States. Other programs exist for religious workers, refugees, and many different immigrant categories.
If you want to know your immigration status or if you need help with specific immigration issues, don’t hesitate to consult our US green card lawyer in New Jersey and New York. Our law office would gladly assist you with immigration law, news, and updates.
Phases of the Green Card Process
Every case is a little different and the Green Card process will vary based on the how you may qualify but, in general the process can be broken down into the following phases:
The Immigration Petition
An immigration petition is filed by a family member, employer or, in some cases, the immigrant themselves. The most common immigration petitions are the I-140 for employment-based immigration petitions or the I-130 for family-based immigration petitions. Each immigration petition requires several other supporting forms and documents to complete the immigration petition package. The immigration petition package is then submitted to a designated processing center where it is evaluated. Anything that is missing or incomplete will cause delays in the Green Card process or outright denial of the Green Card.
Immigrant Visa Availability
If the Green Card is approved, immigrant will often not be issued a Green Card or Legal Permanent Resident status immediately. This is because most categories of Green Cards are subject to quotas and restrictions. After the immigration petition has been granted, it is sent to the National Visa Center where it will wait until a visa number for the particular immigration petition becomes available. Visa numbers are issued according to the current priority date for the immigrant.
Adjustment of Status
On the priority date, a visa number is issued and the immigrant may submit a request to adjust their status to Legal Permanent Resident if they are currently in the US. If they are outside of the United States, the immigrant will need to go to the US Consulate or US Embassy in their country to apply for an immigrant visa.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card?
Depending on the type of immigration petition and the circumstances of the immigrant the amount of time the become a Legal Permanent Resident varies. It may range from several months to several years. It may involve a number of other steps not described here. Please take a look at each type of immigration petition that you are most interested in for more information, or contact us, we are happy to discuss your options.
How Long Is a Green Card Valid?
A green card is valid for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely if the immigrant remains qualified or in good standing.
What If I Obtained the Green Card Through Marriage?
If you obtained the green card through marriage, and the marriage was less than two years old upon the approval of the application, then the card will be conditional for two years, and it will require additional filing to make it permanent.
Will My Criminal Record Affect My Application?
Consult a New Jersey Green Card Lawyer Today!
Obtaining a green card is usually the highest priority of any immigrant. Getting permanent residence means that you’re one step closer to obtaining U.S. citizenship.
A seasoned New Jersey green card attorney can help you prepare for your U.S. visa application, family immigration, permanent residency, and more.
“I had no problem reaching out to Andres Mejer. He has attended the court hearing and answered all the questions of the prosecutor…thank you, Andres!”
“I knew that I couldn’t just go to court alone to defend myself…but Andres was there to help me. He has helped me successfully apply for a U VIsa.”
“Nobody can help me in the past, but Attorney Andres Mejer was able to help me fix my immigration problem. He has guided me through the immigration process and has encouraged me to fight and never give up my freedom to live in the U.S.”
Still have questions about Green Cards or becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident?
What Are You Waiting For?
People often put off seeing a doctor until it is too late. The same is true when it comes to immigration. Immigration problems often get worse with time, not better. You’re risking your family, your freedom and all that you work so hard for by not getting the care you need. You can find out right now if you may already qualify for legal status in the US. Just click below or call Andres Mejer Law to schedule a comprehensive immigration exam. It is free, so what are you waiting for?