Navigating the U.S. immigration system—from applying for a temporary work visa to maintaining your status as a lawful permanent resident—is complicated, but it can be done. The key is to have a thorough grasp of the laws governing the system and the rights of immigrants in the United States. Our lawyers are committed to making sense of complicated immigration laws and policies to aid you with your legal needs. The following information will provide you with some of the basics of immigration. To learn more about how we can represent you, please contact us today.
Understanding the U.S. Immigration System
The first step toward lawfully entering the United States is identifying your available options and determining which one best suits your personal situation. Depending on your reason for entering the United States, your employment status, and your family circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a green card or a variety of different types of visas. Non-U.S. citizens can apply for a green card to obtain lawful permanent resident status if they:
- Have close relatives who are green card holders or U.S. citizens
- Received a permanent job offer in the United States or are planning to start a business here
- Entered the United States as a refugee or through a grant of asylum
- Fall into one of a variety of other “special categories” recognized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS also grants visas for temporary presence in the United States. You might be eligible for a visa if you are a student or tourist, receive a temporary job offer, are engaged to marry a U.S. citizen, are seeking medical treatment, or satisfy certain other requirements.
Protecting Your Immigration Status
Once you are lawfully established the United States, it is important to comply with the terms of your entry. Failure to do so may lead to deportation, removal, and being barred from returning to U.S. soil. In the case of visa holders, overstaying your visa may result in being denied an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.
Becoming a Naturalized Citizen
Many immigrants come to the United States with the ultimate goal of obtaining U.S. citizenship. Naturalization starts with determining your eligibility for citizenship and involves submitting various forms of documentation, undergoing a background check, attending interviews, and taking an Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Not everyone who applies for U.S. citizenship receives it. But those who understand the rules and abide by them have the best chance of doing so.
For More Information about Immigration
We represent individuals, families, and businesses for a wide range of immigration-related issues. To consult with an attorney about your specific immigration needs, contact us today.