A green card is one of the most coveted and sought-after benefits from the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). Whether one is living and working in the U.S. on a temporary visa and wishes to obtain a green card, or they are here illegally and wish to gain lawful status, the process of obtaining a green card can be frustrating and often outright daunting. At Joseph & Hall, we have experienced immigration attorneys who help clients in the Aurora area to successfully navigate the complex immigration system and obtain a green card.
Unless a limited exception applies, being approved for an employment-based green card requires the sponsoring employer to first obtain what is known as “labor certification” from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This certification verifies that the sponsoring employer has tried but is unable to find qualified American workers to fill the position being offered to the non-citizen. The employer also confirms in the labor certification that they will be paying the foreign worker prevailing wages. This first step can be skipped in certain cases where labor certification is not required.
When the employer’s labor certification is approved by the DOL, the employer will file a petition (Form I-140) with USCIS for the prospective foreign worker to apply for a green card. To have the I-140 petition approved, the employer must satisfy specific requirements. A USCIS officer trained to comp through these petitions to make sure they comply with the law will decide whether to approve the petition or not, based on the evidence provided by the petitioning employer. Our experienced employment immigration lawyers routinely help employers in making sure the petition they file has the required information and documents to be approved.
If the I-140 petition is approved, then the foreign worker will either apply for adjustment of status if they are in the U.S. already, or they will apply for a green card at a US consulate in the country where they live or nearest to them. Applying for a green card under the adjustment of status process means the applicant can apply and get the green card without being required to leave and complete the green card process outside the U.S.
Getting a family-based green card requires the US citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to file Form I-130 Alien Relative Petition for their qualifying relative, usually a spouse, child, or parent. If the I-130 petition is being filed by a U.S. citizen for their qualifying relative, then the green card application for the relative can be filed at the same time. However, if the I-130 petition is being filed by a green card holder for their qualifying relative, then the I-130 petition must be adjudicated and approved first before the relative can apply for the green card.
If you are in the Aurora area and wish to apply for a green card for yourself, for a qualifying family member, or for a foreign worker, contact Joseph & Hall and schedule an appointment to talk to one of our experienced immigration lawyers.
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