There are several ways to obtain legal residency in the U.S., such as family-based or employment-based sponsorship, political asylum, business investment of one million dollars in a new enterprise, the lottery and even deportation. For this quick presentation, we discuss the most popular ways.
When a relative sponsors an immigrant, there are different categories which may be subject to a visa quota.
Parents, spouse and minor children of a U.S. citizen are considered immediate relatives and are not subject to a quota. A visa is immediately available for these beneficiaries, but the processing time to become a permanent resident is lengthy both in the United States and in foreign countries. We can assist in eliminating unnecessary delays by filing the appropriate documents in the order dictated by the INS.
We can also assist in getting you work authorization and possibly a travel permit while waiting for the processing, which is about one year in Southern California. In some instance, the alien cannot leave the U.S. until the processing is complete. Marriage to a US citizen does not guarantee an alien a right to live in this country. One must qualify for that benefit and there may be restrictions which prevent a successful immigration. We can provide you with the best advice and preparation so that the application is filed correctly to avoid delays or even the denial of your petition.
Another common way to get a green card is through employer sponsorship. This usually involves a labor certification to show that the immigrant will not displace any American worker for the position offered. We can evaluate the case and will not give you false hopes. It is highly recommended that you retain our services because it is a complicated process requiring persuasive and clear presentation to both the Dept. of Labor and the BCIS.
Please note that starting the process does not grant you permission to stay and/or work in the U.S. unless you have another benefit available such as a non-immigrant visa (see visas). Upon approval of this labor certification, an immigrant petition signed by your employer will be sent and processed by the BCIS. This petition being approved, the alien can either adjust his status, which allows him to stay in the U.S. or go back to his home country at the American Consulate.