Most foreigners who migrate to the United States have as their wish a desire to someday become naturalized U.S. citizens. Obtaining a green card is a big step toward that objective, and for this reason, getting a green card is one of the most sought-after benefits from the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). Naturally, this also means getting a green card is no easy walk in the park.
At Joseph & Hall, we have experienced green card lawyers who help clients in Colorado Springs successfully go through the complex immigration process to obtain a green card.
Obtaining a family-based green card requires the US citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to submit a petition for their relative to USCIS. If the person for whom the petition is being filed is an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen, then they can also concurrently file for their green card at the same time the petition is filed. This is significant because it cuts significantly short the time which one must otherwise wait to receive their green card.
If the person for whom the paperwork is being filed is not an immediate relative, then the petition must first be approved before they file for their green card. A petition can be filed for a relative who is physically in the U.S. or one who is outside the U.S. Regardless of where the relative is, the process is about the same. The only difference is the nature of the familial relationship, which will determine how long the process will take to conclude and have the relative approved for their green card.
Whether the person filing for their relative is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, they must provide evidence to satisfy USCIS that the family relationship exists and that it is genuine. If USCIS is satisfied and approves the petition, the agency will next review and decide on the green card application if the relative is in the U.S. If the relative is outside the U.S., the USCIS will send approval notice to the embassy or consulate where the relative lives and that embassy or consulate will contact them to complete the process.
Unless a limited exception applies, obtaining an employment-based green card requires an employer who seeks to hire a foreign worker to obtain a labor certification from the US Department of Labor (DOL). This certification verifies that there are no American workers available to take the position and that the foreign worker will be paid prevailing wages.
If the DOL approves the labor certification, the sponsoring employer will file a petition (I-140) with USCIS, which if approved, will allow the foreign worker to apply for their green card. If a labor certification is not required, filing the I-140 petition becomes the first step in the employment-based green card process. In either case, USCIS will approve or not approve the I-140 petition.
If USCIS approves the I-140 petition, then depending on where the foreign worker is, they will either apply for their green card under adjustment of status if they are in the U.S. or they will apply for their green card at a US consulate nearest to them.
Joseph & Hall assists people in the Springs area with green card applications. If you are in Colorado Springs and wish to apply for a green card, contact us and schedule your initial consultation.
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