Prince William County Green Card Lawyer

To apply for the status of lawful permanent resident, an applicant must have a relative who can petition for them (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member), be physically present in the United States, and (usually) must have a lawful admission (have entered legally). Spouses, children, (under 21 years old), stepchildren (where the marriage that established the relationship occurred before the child’s 18th birthday), and parents of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives, which means they are able to apply for lawful permanent resident status without having to wait for a visa to become available to apply for the Green Card.

For those who have a petitioning relative who is a lawful permanent resident, the beneficiary will fall into the family preference category and will have to wait for a visa to be available to apply for the Green Card.

Applying for a Green Card can be a daunting process without the help of a trusted immigration attorney. Fortunately, a Prince William County Green Card lawyer with experience in obtaining lawful permanent resident status (Green Card) for their clients will be able to help them through the process if they are confused.

Conditional Resident Status (Two-Year Green Cards)

Those beneficiaries who entered the United States with K-1 visas or K-3 visas (fiancé(e)s or spouses of U.S. citizens) may also apply for a Green Card in the U.S. If a person and their spouse have been married for two years or less at the time of application, the non-citizen spouse will receive a conditional resident card . A conditional Green Card is valid for a period of 24 months however, the holder may petition the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a 10-year Green Card after 21 months.

If the holder is still married at the time of the petition, their conditional status can usually be upgraded to a 10-year card without any major complications. However, if the petitioner is no longer married, they may face additional hurdles to prove that their marriage was entered in good faith. These individuals may benefit from hiring a Prince William County Green Card lawyer.

Business and Employment Visas

When a person enters the country on an employment or business visa, their ability to obtain a Green Card will depend on the type of visa they currently hold. Certain types of business visas do not allow for an upgrade to Green Card status. However, other types, such as the L-1A visa, can be upgraded to a Green Card. If a person is in the country on an employment or business visa, it is imperative they apply for a Green Card before their visa expires. If they attempt to upgrade their visa to a Green Card after its expiration date, they may be unable to do so and will have to consular process instead.

Who is Not Eligible for a Green Card?

Of course, not everyone will be eligible for a Green Card. The following individuals will not be eligible to receive a Green Card:

  • Those who illegally enter or travel through the country without a visa;
  • Those who have not been admitted, inspected, or paroled by an immigration officer;
  • Those who attempt to claim a marriage-based Green Card but are not actually married to a US citizen; and
  • Those who have committed certain crimes or are a national security threat.

Those who have entered the country without authorization will more than likely be forced to return to their home country and completely the immigrant visa process at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Discuss Your Case with a Prince William County Immigration Attorney

A Green Card allows individuals to reside in the United States on a permanent basis. However, the process of obtaining a Green Card can be complicated, and unfortunately, the USCIS often fails to simplify the process. If you or someone you love needs help with a visa or Green Card, you should reach out to a Prince William County Green Card lawyer to discuss the case more extensively.

Prince William County Green Card Lawyer

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