Planning and Preparing for the Green Card Process


Due to the lengthy USCIS processing times and numerous paperwork involved, trying to get a green card is not the easiest thing to do. As such, it is highly recommended to consult with a competent New Jersey immigration attorney who can help you every step of the way.

What this article will cover are:

– The basics of US green cards

– The basics of obtaining a green card

– The process and processing times

– Timelines and what foreigners must remember

– The need for a good local attorney

The basics of a US green card

A permanent residence card is, from the name itself, a legal document indicating that its bearer has lawful permanent residence. To put it simply, a foreign national who is a green card holder is a permanent resident of the United States. This is especially useful when such immigration status must be proven. Examples of these are circumstances when you are applying for or accepting a specific job offer when you are purchasing a house, or in other similar instances where the other party will ask you to prove your permanent resident status.

A green card is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Office), has an expiration of ten years, and maybe renewed by lawful permanent residents when the need arises.

The basics of acquiring a green card

Green Card Process Unknown to some people, there are many ways to apply for a green card. A fiance (who has different nationality) of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident could be able to obtain a green card through marriage. A foreign national who invests in a commercial enterprise, meanwhile, could be granted an investor visa. Alternatively, through the national interest waiver, becoming a permanent resident is also possible for an advanced degree professional. However, the actual immigration process is more complex than it seems. This is why it is recommended to consult with reliable New Jersey immigration attorneys early on. 

The process and the processing time

Most of the time, an alien applicant would be informed if his or her immigration petition is approved or not right after the green card interview at the USCIS office. There are, however, certain exemptions to this. If a supervisor must first approve the petition form, the processing time for a permanent resident card would be longer. This could be extended by up to two weeks. If a Request for Additional Evidence is sent, the waiting period could be further extended, this time by up to three months.

It is important to keep in mind that even if your application for permanent residency was immediately approved, you are still not at the end of the legal process. The actual card will be issued not on the spot, but instead sent by mail after a certain period of time.

Timelines and what foreigners must remember

The USCIS does not have an exact timeline on when a green card will be mailed. On their website, it is mentioned that those who entered the country with an immigrant visa should receive the card for 120 days. This is either after arrival at their port of entry or after payment of processing fees, whichever is later. Keep in mind, however, that immigration law does not mention a specific time limit. They will send them as soon as the paperwork is processed, and actual timelines will vary for each green card application.

The Notice of Decision will be mailed to the applicant usually after a few months. The actual card will then be sent afterward. This is why it is important to inform the USCIS if you intend to move so that the card will not be sent to the wrong address. However, if your green card has not arrived several months after your immigration interview, you may need to inquire at the USCIS Office. Competent immigration lawyers can help make sure that your card will not be further delayed.

The need for an experienced New Jersey immigration lawyer

When you apply for a green card, immigration lawyers will help you with knowledge about processing relevant immigrant visas, proceeding with the green card application, and preparing the requirements necessary for getting a green card. He or she can also assist when acquiring conditional resident status (adjustment of status or consular processing) and having the conditions on your permanent residence eventually removed.

Immigrating and applying for a green card could be a lot less stressful. Get a trusted immigration lawyer who can help you fill out USCIS forms and submit immigration paperwork and supporting documents.

Before you apply for a green card, give us a call. Consult with a reliable New Jersey immigration attorney from Andres Mejer Law to make sure you are doing things correctly.

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