There are many ways to establish a lawful immigration status in the United States. An experienced immigration lawyer in Elgin, Illinois, can help you find the option that is best for your particular situation. With an attorney on your side, you can reduce the time and expense associated with the immigration process by reducing the chance of errors. Learn more about the different legal grounds for immigration to the United States.
One of the most common grounds for immigration is family sponsorship. U.S. citizens can sponsor certain close relatives for visas or green cards. (Citizenship does not require a sponsor.) In some cases, a green card holder can sponsor immediate relatives for immigration. Immediate relative visas are not subject to annual quotas. Family preference visas are open to a broader range of relatives, so they are limited by number every year. This can make them harder to come by.
Because family immigration does not require an employer’s involvement in the immigration process, many immigrants choose this option when it is available. This means that some of the longest delays in the current U.S. immigration system are for family immigration applications.
Immigration can also be sponsored by an employer. There are many different types of employment immigration statuses that can be used, depending on your employer’s specific needs. Short-term business visitor visas are available for those who will only be in the country for a short time. These are typically used for foreign citizens who are attending conferences or business meetings.
Business visas can be issued for seasonal or temporary workers. In some cases, a permanent employee will get a visa that must be renewed, but it is usually easier to obtain a green card for a permanent employee. This allows the employee to live and work in the United States indefinitely. The green card will remain valid as long as it is renewed on time and the worker remains eligible (for example, by staying employed by the sponsoring company and not committing felonies).
The United States also recognizes humanitarian grounds for immigration. Immigrants who qualify for these reasons do not require a family member or employer to sponsor their visa or green card. The most common humanitarian ground is asylum that is claimed by eligible refugees. There are also specific protections for victims of human trafficking and other specified crimes. It can be difficult to prove that you qualify for humanitarian immigration, as these cases require proof of extreme human suffering. It is important to consult with an immigration lawyer to determine whether you qualify for a lawful immigration status on humanitarian grounds.
Whether you need a visa, green card, or citizenship, the experienced Chicago family immigration lawyers at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan can help. We have handled all types of immigration cases based on family sponsorship, employment, or humanitarian grounds. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible.