In these times of unstable politics and global health emergencies, it is more important than ever to be sure you have a lawful immigration status that will allow your family to stay together. The best Chicago immigration lawyers are right here at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan. We have helped many immigrants throughout the Chicago area establish their legal right to live and work lawfully here in the United States. We can help find the best strategy for your unique immigration circumstances.
Getting a Visa
The first step toward establishing legal residence is getting a visa. A visa can be sponsored by an employer or family member. Visas are also available on humanitarian grounds. If you are a refugee or seeking asylum, you can seek lawful entry to the United States under specific humanitarian programs. There are also programs available for victims of domestic violence whose immigration status is dependent upon their abuser’s citizenship or lawful permanent residence. These victims are at specific risk of exploitation due to their vulnerable immigration status. Because of this, United States immigration law affords them special protections, and they are eligible for their own “U visa.” Sex trafficking victims can also apply for their own “T visa.”
Humanitarian visa programs also change constantly. Congress enacts various specific programs in response to developing political circumstances throughout the world. If you are seeking a humanitarian visa, it is important to consult with a Chicago immigration lawyer about your specific situation.
Getting a Green Card (Permanent Residency)
Like visas, your eligibility for a green card can be established through a family sponsor, an employer sponsor, or on humanitarian grounds. There are also special categories for religious workers, juveniles who have been abused or neglected, international broadcasters, and other international workers.
A conditional green card is usually valid for two years. Most regular green cards must be renewed every ten years, although some have no expiration date. Even if your card has not expired, you can be deported for violating immigration laws, like committing a violent crime.
Citizenship is the strongest immigration status you can obtain. While visa holders and lawful permanent residents can be deported, a citizen can only be removed from this country by the denaturalization process. This case is much harder for the government to prove. Citizens also enjoy civil rights, such as the ability to vote.
The citizenship process usually involves holding a green card for a specified length of time. After you apply, you must pass tests in civics and English proficiency. Once you have met all other requirements, you will be invited to take the Naturalization Oath (an oath of citizenship). Consult with a Chicago immigration lawyer about the best path to citizenship for your particular circumstances.
Experienced Chicago Immigration Lawyers For All Immigration Needs
Whether you need a visa, green card, or citizenship, the experienced Chicago family immigration lawyers at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you find the right immigration strategy for your particular situation, the sooner you can begin the process of securing lawful immigration status.