Virginia Green Card Lawyer

A Green Card opens the door to many opportunities for employment in Virginia, but the United States issues only a limited number each year depending on the category. So, when you submit your application for a Green Card, you want to be sure that you demonstrate your qualifications in the most effective manner and that all requirements are covered to give yourself the best opportunity for a successful outcome in the least possible time.

When you work with a Virginia immigration lawyer in filing a Green Card application, your legal adviser can oversee the process and help work to resolve any delays that may arise. Assistance from an immigration attorney with experience helping people obtain their Green Cards can make a huge difference in your experience with the immigration process.

Understanding the Green Card

A “Green Card” is the unofficial name for an identification card issued to those who have achieved status as lawful permanent residents of the U.S. Years ago, these identification cards were printed on green cardstock, so the cards were referred to as Green Cards. Even today, the background of the identification cards for lawful permanent residents have a greenish background.

A lawful permanent resident or LPR is considered an immigrant with the right to live and work permanently in the U.S. In addition, an LPR has the ability to petition to sponsor certain family members to immigrate to the U.S.

Qualifications for a Green Card

In order to obtain LPR status or a Green Card, it is necessary to have a permanent visa, also known as an immigrant visa. The government grants a limited number each year which are allocated to specific groups such as family members with particular relationships and employees with specified qualifications.

Most immigrant visas are based on an employment relationship or a family relationship. Those eligible to seek a Green Card on the basis of family connection include:

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and LPRs
  • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens and LPRs
  • Married children of U.S. citizens (and their spouses and minor children)
  • Parents of U.S. citizens aged 21 or over
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens aged 21 or over

Those seeking an immigrant visa based on employment must usually have a job arranged with an employer. Furthermore, the employer must obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Process of Obtaining a Green Card

In most situations, the process of obtaining a Green Card begins with the filing of a petition filed by the U.S. citizen or LPR petitioner so that a relative can immigrate to the U.S.  The petition is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Usually, the person who files the petition also serves as the financial sponsor of the immigrant.

After a petition is approved, the individual seeking a Green Card files a visa application if they are abroad.  This application will be processed by the U.S. State Department (DOS). Once the DOS has all the required documentation to demonstrate qualifications, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview.

Since many people want Green Cards, the process may take many years to complete. The wait will usually be longer for those coming from countries with high rates of immigration or those whose applications are considered lower in preference because their family connection is not as close, or their employment qualifications are not as high as those of other applicants.

If the individual seeking the Green Card is present in the U.S. and lawfully admitted they may be able to apply for a Green Card inside the U.S. by filing an adjustment of status application. Considering the lengthy process of obtaining a Green Card, it may be wise to hire a Virginia Green Card lawyer in order to avoid making any mistakes in the application process.

Get Help from a Virginia Immigration Attorney Today

Competition to obtain a Green Card can be very intense. The annual number of immigrant visas is limited by law and ranked according to preference standards, so it is wise to document characteristics that demonstrate the highest possible qualifications.

A Virginia Green Card lawyer can assist at any stage in the process. Whether you are just starting to investigate the possibilities or have applied for a visa long ago and want help getting past a delay, a dedicated immigration attorney can help make the process as smooth as possible. To learn more about the assistance available from an immigration attorney, call for a consultation.