Skokie Green Card Lawyer
Obtain Permanent Residency Today!
Becoming a permanent resident of the United States can be a complicated process. You must complete numerous applications and often have to endure a lengthy waiting period. Plus, if an your application is denied, you could find yourself waiting even longer.
Whether you are seeking a green card for yourself or an immediate family member, you need a trusted green card attorney in Skokie to help with your case. At Gambacorta Law, our lawyers deliver results-driven counsel to help foreign nationals achieve their immigration goals.
Understanding the Green Card Process
Permanent residency does not happen overnight. It is a time-consuming process that requires persistence and patience. Otherwise, you risk application denial or rejection.
Some considerations for permanent residency include:
- First, you will need a non-immigrant visa. This visa must be maintained for several years before you can apply for an immigrant visa. While there are special circumstances that can allow you to skip this step, these circumstances are rare and most immigrants do not qualify for them.
- If you marry a U.S. citizen, you still have to wait three years after the marriage date to apply for citizenship. Other cases can take up to five years.
- A sponsorship from a family member living in the United States
- Proof that you have lived and worked in the U.S. and that you have not posed a threat to public safety by committing a crime
- Proof of all USCIS application requirements
How Do I Apply for a Green Card?
There are three ways to obtain a green card: via family members, through your employer, or due to special circumstances, such as applying as a refugee or asylee.
Green Card Via Family
If you have a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or has a green card, you are able to start a petition for a green card. Be aware that if they have a green card, the process will take longer. To begin, your relative must complete the Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative and Form I-485 Adjustment of Status. USCIS will review the applications and schedule an interview with you, which typically takes place at the closest USCIS field office or U.S. consulate or embassy.
The interview confirms that the information you provided on your applications are consistent with what you say during the interview. In some cases, the questions may get personal because they want to know about your entry to the U.S., your immigration history, and if you have a criminal history. If all goes well, a Green Card will be issued to you and it will be valid for 10 years. In other cases, you may be required to return for another interview, provide additional information, or your application may be denied.
Can I Stay on A Green Card Forever?
There is no limit on how long you can keep your green card status. Although green cards need to be renewed every ten years, once you secure a green card, you keep your lawful permanent resident status until you either become a U.S. citizen, abandon your status or lose your green card status.
The main ways you can lose your green card status includes:
- If an immigration judge issues a final removal against you
- You are placed into rescission proceedings. Rescission proceeding take placed in the first five years of obtaining a green card and come about if the U.S. government discovers you were not actually eligible to qualify for a green card.
- Your green card status is on a conditional basis such as a marriage. If the conditional status ends your green card status may as well.
Green Card Renewal
Green card renewal is a very important process for lawful permanent residents. Green cards are only valid for 10 years. Although the card has an expiration date, a person’s permanent resident status never expires.
The green card is an official documentation of lawful permanent resident status and may be used as an identification card. That is why it is important to always keep your card up to date. An expired green card makes it difficult to prove that you are a permanent resident, which may affect your ability to travel or to work in the United States.
Renewing a Green Card When Outside of the United States
If you are outside the U.S. and your green card is going to expire within the next six months but you plan to return within one year of your departure from the U.S, you should renew your card as soon as you return to the United States and before the card expires.
If you are outside the U.S. when your green card expires and you did not apply for the renewal card before you left, you should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. Port of Entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for green card renewal.
Alternative: File for U.S. Citizenship
If you are eligible, you may apply for citizenship instead of renewing your green card. The USCIS will allow you to carry an expired green card as long as you have filed the N-400 Application for Naturalization. Keep in mind that if you need to change jobs or travel outside the U.S., renewing your green card would probably be more practical to prove your permanent residence status.
Call a SKokie Green Card Lawyer
Obtaining permanent residency requires the assistance of a dedicated, honest attorney. At Gambacorta Law, our green card lawyers in Skokie understand how important your situation is. We can help you through the process and ensure that your application is as strong as possible.