Applying for a green card, also known as an adjustment of status if does within the United States, allows visa holders in the United States to obtain lawful permanent residence. Some visa holders in the United States do not have to leave the country to apply, but people outside of the country must obtain a visa abroad. Below, our Salinas immigration lawyer explains the steps necessary if you want to apply for a green card based on a family relationship while in the United States.
Obtaining a green card is exciting, but the process is complicated. You should always first request a consultation with an immigration lawyer that can advise on your case. An attorney will also help you through every step of the process, so you have the best chance of approval.
There are a number of ways for people to obtain a green card in the country. Whether or not you are eligible will largely depend on the immigrant category you are applying under and your past immigration history. Some past actions can make you inadmissible to the United States, and understanding the recourses (such as a waiver) you may have should be done early on in your case.
Green card applicants typically apply in one of two ways. The first is by pursuing a visa for an immediate relative, such as a spouse, an unmarried child under the age of 21, or a parent, of a United States citizen. These visas are unlimited and are always available. The second type of visa is family-sponsored and employment-based preference petitions, which are limited to a certain number every year. Not everyone that is inside the United States with a visa is eligible to adjust status in the United States. This eligibility determination is complicated and may risk your underlying visa status, so it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine eligibility.
An immigration lawyer can advise on the documents you will need when applying for a green card. These may include a birth certificate, marriage certificate, financial documents, proof of sponsor citizenship, medical examination document, and more.
The person sponsoring your application will have to file a petition to establish that they have the status to be a Petitioner (often proof that they are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident), as well as confirm their relationship to you. A California immigration lawyer can advise on what type of petition you should file and how to document your eligibility.
You can file a Form I-485 if you qualify for a green card and are in the United States. Depending on the visa bulletin for your visa category, you may be able to file Form I-485 concurrently with your Petition. You may also have to file Form I-485 Supplement A, Adjustment of Status if you qualify under INA § 245(i). An immigration lawyer can advise on whether this form is necessary. You will also complete a medical examination during the adjustment process.
After you have applied for a green card, you will receive a notice in the mail regarding a biometrics services appointment. You will have to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) to provide your photograph, signature, and fingerprints. This information is used to conduct the necessary security and background checks, and to verify your identity.
A lawyer can help you gather the necessary documents you will need for the interview and will let you know what you can expect at the interview. Oftentimes, both you and your Petitioner will attend, and it is the opportunity for the USCIS Officer to review your forms and supporting documentation with you, and determine your eligibility for the benefit you are requesting. You must bring the original documents for the Officer to examine. It is highly advisable to have your attorney present with you at your interview.
If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines an interview is necessary, you will have to appear at a USCIS office. During the interview, officials will ask you questions under oath. You must often bring any family member that filed the petition on your behalf and bring all necessary documents with you.
When your application is approved, you will receive written notice before receiving your actual green card.
If you want to apply for a green card, our Salinas immigration lawyer at Miranda, Magden & Miranda can help you navigate the process and will give you the best chance of success. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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