Many people who come to the United States for work purposes or to be with their families wish to obtain green cards, which will allow them to remain here on a permanent basis. There are numerous ways to get green cards, and it is important for people who want to obtain permanent resident status to ensure they abide by the appropriate rules and procedures to avoid costly delays or denials. If you or your loved one wish to obtain a green card, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. The seasoned Boston individual representation immigration attorneys of O’Neil & Hauser P.C. have ample experience handling immigration matters, including green card applications, and we can offer you accurate legal advice and efficient service. We dedicate more than ninety percent of our practice to immigration, and each of our attorneys has been handling immigration matters for over twenty years. We have an office in Boston and handle immigration issues around the world.Green Card Eligibility
Prior to filing an application for a green card, or permanent resident status, a person must demonstrate his or her eligibility. Typically, an employer or family member will sponsor an individual for a green card.
United States citizens may sponsor their spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 for immediate green cards. The government will issue green cards for married or older children in certain cases, but they are more challenging to obtain. Companies can sponsor potential employees for green cards as well. Companies must demonstrate that the foreign national seeking a green card possesses the skills needed to perform the job and that the sponsorship will not negatively impact market wages in the United States. In some instances, people of extraordinary ability can file their own petitions for green cards. People who enter the United States as refugees can also apply for green cards for themselves and for their family members if they have been in the country for a year.
There are other less common grounds for eligibility for green cards, like the diversity immigrant visa program. People who are victims of certain crimes who currently have non-resident visas, and people who have continuously lived in the United States since before January 1, 1972, may be eligible for green cards as well.Applying for a Green Card
People can apply for green cards while they are outside of the United States, via consular processing, or while they are within the country, through adjustment of status. The precise steps involved in applying for a green card vary depending on the facts of a person’s situation. Generally, though, a person will either file an immigration petition, or the person or entity sponsoring the individual will file a petition on the applicant’s behalf. If United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the immigrant petition and a visa is available in the person’s category, the person will either file a visa application with the Department of State or a green card application with USCIS. The person will then undergo a biometrics appointment and interview and will ultimately receive a decision on his or her application.Speak to an Experienced Boston Immigration Attorney
Green cards provide people with peace of mind that they can stay in the United States permanently, but the process of obtaining them can be arduous for people who are unfamiliar with immigration laws. If you wish to seek a green card, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about your options. At O’Neil & Hauser P.C., our experienced Boston lawyers are adept at helping individuals with immigration issues, and we have the skills and knowledge needed to help you pursue your desired outcome. We offer translation services in multiple languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, French, and Arabic, and many of our attorneys are bilingual. We are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and we have built up strong relationships with multiple government agencies over our many years in practice. You can contact us at our Boston office via our online form or by calling (617) 426-8100 to set up a meeting.