Leesburg Family-Based Green Card Lawyer

Many people in Leesburg wonder if they need a lawyer to get a family-based Green Card (lawful permanent resident status). The federal agencies involved with approving immigration petitions (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State) do not require applicants to be represented by an immigration attorney. However, many people choose to take advantage of the experience provided by a knowledgeable legal advocate during the Green Card application process.

U.S. immigration laws and requirements are complex, and mistakes can result in denial of an application, particularly during this time of heightened scrutiny. Working with an experienced immigration attorney with experience in filing family-based Green Card applications can help ensure that an applicant demonstrates eligibility criteria as thoroughly as possible to help achieve a successful outcome with minimal delays.

The Types of Family Connection Needed

To apply for a Green Card based on a family connection, it is important to ensure that an individual meets the eligibility requirements and has the documentation necessary for proving the connection. The following relationships can qualify an individual for a family-based Green Card:

  • Husband or wife of a U.S. citizen;
  • Child (under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen;
  • Married or unmarried son or daughter (over 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen;
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen (the citizen must be age 21 or older);
  • Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen (the citizen must be age 21 or older);
  • Husband or wife of a lawful permanent resident;
  • Unmarried child of a lawful permanent resident;

Ranking Family Connections and Assigning Preference Ratings

The U.S. government ranks the family connections and assigns a preference rating to the category.

Those considered to be “immediate relatives” of a U.S. citizen do not have to worry about visa quotas and may have much less wait time than those in other categories. An immediate relative is considered to be a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 (including children adopted abroad), or a parent of a U.S. citizen. All others are not “immediate relatives” and must wait for a visa to become available in their category.

Married children of U.S. citizens are not considered immediate relatives, but may also qualify for a Green Card, but because they can also apply with spouses and children, they are assigned a lower preference category. If a person seeking a Green Card has several relatives in the U.S., a family-based Green Card lawyer in Leesburg cancan determine the best connection to use as the basis for the application.

The Process of Applying for a Green Card

A Green Card is the identifying document showing that the holder is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Most people seeking a Green Card based on family connection begin the process by having the qualifying family member file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on their behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency will review the petition and may request additional information.

In most cases, the agency must approve the petition before the person seeking the Green Card can file an application for a Green Card. However, some individuals may qualify for concurrent filing where they can file an application to adjust status to permanent resident while the immigrant petition is still pending.

Prospective immigrants who are already in Leesburg may use the adjustment of status process to apply for a Green Card. Those who are located outside the U.S. must have their application processed through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and the National Visa Center. All applicants will need to provide documentation establishing their identity and their connection with the sponsoring family member.

Talk to a Leesburg Immigration Attorney to Discuss the Family-Based Green Card Process

A Green Card identifying you as a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. opens the door to many opportunities. However, the process of obtaining the necessary immigrant visa or applying for adjustment of status can be challenging. An error or missing information may cause an application to be denied.

If USCIS believes information is fraudulent, you may be prohibited from receiving a Green Card later, even if you reapply. Accordingly, it is a good idea to work with an experienced legal advocate to ensure that procedures are followed correctly. To talk to a Leesburg immigration attorney with experience filing family-based Green Card applications about your case, call now for a consultation.

Leesburg Green Card Lawyer

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