The coronavirus pandemic has made global travel more uncertain than it has ever been in our lifetimes. Now, more than ever, it is important for families to secure lawful immigration status for all members in order to be sure the whole family will be allowed to stay together during these uncertain times. Consult with a Cicero immigration attorney as soon as possible to begin exploring all possible options for lawful immigration status through visas, green cards, and citizenship.
Family members can sponsor non-citizens for visas, or even lawful permanent resident status. This preference system is ranked based on the closeness of the relationship between sponsor and sponsored. More distant relations (married children and siblings) may be subject to quota requirements that can change on an annual basis. There are many different types of family visas, so be sure to get a lawyer’s opinion about the one that is right for your family. Applying for the wrong type of visa can waste precious time and money.
Like family visas, there are many types of work visas. The traditional employment visa is divided into five preference categories, based upon your skills, abilities, and the number of jobs you will be creating in the United States. In addition to the traditional employment visas, there are also visas for religious workers, employees of foreign organizations (such as NATO), interpreters and translators, temporary agricultural workers, members of the media, and many others. Here, too, it is important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to explore all potential work visas that might be available to you.
A lawful permanent resident (also known as a green card holder) has the right to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, so long as they meet certain admission requirements and maintain their eligibility. As with visas, you can sponsor immediate relatives for lawful permanent residents. There are also employment-based categories of lawful permanent residence and humanitarian categories for refugees and asylees.
Once you have held a green card for five years (or three years, if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen), you may apply for citizenship. You must meet eligibility requirements, such as having a basic command of the English language, being eighteen years old, and being of good moral character (which is usually established through a background investigation). If you are eligible, you may submit an Application for Naturalization, and complete an interview with your local USCIS officer. If your application is granted, you can take the Oath of Allegiance. This can even happen on the same day as a successful interview.
Whether you need assistance with a visa, green card, or citizenship, the experienced Chicago immigration lawyers at Minsky, McCormick and Hallagan are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with a Cicero immigration attorney. The sooner we get started on your case, the sooner you will be on the path to a lawful immigration status.