Chicago families rely on the U.S. immigration system to help them stay together. Without the legal right to live or work in the United States, your family could be torn apart at a dangerous time. Changes to immigration policies and travel restrictions related to the global coronavirus pandemic have made it more important than ever to defend your right to live in this country. Elmhurst immigration attorneys can help you develop the best immigration strategy that will protect your family’s future.
In order to enter the country, you must first start with an entry visa. These can be sponsored by a family member who is a citizen. (Lawful permanent residents can also sponsor family visas, but only if the sponsored relative is a spouse or child.) Citizens can also sponsor a fiance (or fiancee) to enter the United States on a K-1 fiance(e) visa. The couple then has ninety days to marry. At that point, the fiancee can apply for a visa as the spouse of an American citizen. Eligible children of a fiancee can also enter the United States on a K-2 visa.
Your visa can also be sponsored by an employer. Eligible employers must meet various legal requirements, and document both the employer and employee’s eligibility for a work visa. Business visitors can obtain special visas for their work in the United States. This is usually accomplished through a temporary B-1 business visitor visa. If a business visitor needs a longer visa, an immigration attorney can help you select the right visa for your immigration needs.
Visas are available for eligible students who are enrolled in American educational institutions. You may also be able to establish your right to stay in the country on humanitarian grounds. Refugees, victims of human and sex trafficking, domestic violence victims, and others can apply for a visa on humanitarian grounds.
Once you have obtained a visa, you will likely want to make long-term immigration plans. Permanent residency is proven with a “green card.” Most green cards are valid for ten years, and you are permitted to live and work in the United States during this time. Like visas, a green card must be sponsored by a family member or employer. Green cards are also available on humanitarian grounds.
Citizenship gives you the highest protection from adverse immigration decisions. A citizen cannot be removed or prohibited from working in the country unless he or she is denaturalized. This is a longer, more difficult process for the government than other immigration cases.
At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, we have experience handling all types of visa cases. Whether your immigration is based on employment, family sponsorship, or enrollment as a student, we can help you enter the country lawfully. We can also help you with long term immigration plans, such as permanent residency and citizenship. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney. Don’t delay – the sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better protected your immigration rights will be.