Obtaining Permanent Residence, also known as Green Card, allows a citizen from a different country, to live and work indefinitely in the United States. The process could seem simple at first glance however, it is complex, dynamic and if done wrong, could have severe consequences going from losing the money paid in processing fees, denial of immigration benefits, even to be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.
There are many different ways for a foreign national to obtain permanent residence in the United States. The most common is through a close relative who is already a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States. The relative living in the United States is known as the Petitioner. The foreign national seeking admission into the United States is known as the beneficiary.
There are two different venues in which to process the petition for permanent residence: A United States Consulate located in the foreign national’s country of residence or at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) if the foreign national is already living in the United States.
The former is called Consular Process and the latter is known as Adjustment of Status. Both options might be available to many (if the foreign national has a tourist visa, for example), and for some, only the Consular Process at a U.S. Consulate abroad. Both processes have their own advantages and disadvantages (such a shorter processing time in the case of an Adjustment of Status) but both could bring the desired result: A green card or approval of permanent residence in the United States.
During the process however, many things could go wrong, exposing the both the petitioner and the beneficiary to harsh consequences. For example, the immigration authorities could determine that the parties committed marriage fraud, or that any party made a fraudulent or misrepresented a material fact, among many others. The penalties for those findings could range from criminal charges, jail time, loss of immigration benefits and deportation.
At the office of immigration attorney Xavier A. Mendez, we can help you with the process of obtaining your permanent residency from beginning to end. An immigration attorney dully admitted to the practice of law in the United States will consult with you, ask you the right questions about your case and determine if you and your relative qualify for Permanent Residence under current immigration laws. Our immigration attorneys will walk by your side along the entire process from the initial consultation to the approval of the Permanent Residence. Our immigration attorneys will determine which immigration forms to fill, ask you to bring the proper documentation, such as birth certificates, proof of income, notarized letters from friends and relatives, government issued identification documents and more. Once your Permanent Residence petition packet is ready to submit to the immigration authorities, our immigration attorneys will check with you that each question and every piece of evidence that we are about to submit is true and accurate
Our immigration attorneys will also represent you at your interview with immigration authorities (may not apply at U.S. Consulate abroad) to ensure that you are treated fairly, with respect and that your case is decided under the law.
The following is information about which relative can petition a family member for permanent residence in the United States. If you believe that you may qualify for one of the following categories, click on “Contact”. Our office staff will evaluate your case and will be in contact with you.
IMMIGRATION ESTABLISHED CATEGORIES TO QUALIFY FOR RESIDENCY (GREEN CARD)
U.S. Citizens immediate family;
- Married with a U.S. citizen.
- The father or mother of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years or older.
- A child of U.S. citizen and you are under 21 years of age.
Other relatives of a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
- A child of a U.S. citizen and you are single and 21 years or older
- Married child of a U.S. citizen
- Sibling of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age or older
- Spouse of a permanent resident
- A child of a resident and you are single and under 21 years of age
- A child of a resident and you are single and 21 years or older
Fiancé or child of a U.S. citizen fiancé
- Fiancé to a U.S. citizen
- Minor and child of a U.S. citizen fiancé
Widow of a U.S. Citizen
1.Widow of a U.S. citizen and you were married to that U.S. citizen at time of their death
You are or were a victim of domestic violence (emotional or physical) in hands of:
- Your spouse who is U.S. citizen or resident
- Your child who is U.S. citizen
- Your parent who is U.S. citizen or resident and you are under 21 years of age
Call us to schedule a confidential consultation. We will be happy to listen to your case and to be the first ones to welcome you to your new life in the United States.