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Herndon, VA Green Card Lawyers

Helping Immigrants Achieve Permanent Residency in the U.S.

For immigrants who are looking to build new lives in the United States, Obtaining a Green Card will be an important step in this process. A Green Card provides a person with lawful permanent resident status, allowing them to live wherever they wish within the U.S., earn an income, apply for a driver's license and Social Security card, and re-enter the U.S. after visiting other countries. Since applying for a Green Card can be a complex and daunting process, it is important to get legal help from an attorney who understands the procedures followed by immigration officials and the best ways to address the issues that may arise.

At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, our skilled, experienced lawyers understand the issues that affect immigrants who are looking to obtain permanent resident status. We provide informed guidance and dedicated representation throughout the entire immigration process. We can explain the options for obtaining Green Cards, the legal requirements a person must meet, and the documentation that must be provided. We can help prepare and submit applications and other forms, prepare for interviews with immigration officials, and work to resolve any legal complications that may affect a person's ability to receive a Green Card. By ensuring that immigrants follow all applicable immigration laws, we can help them take the proper steps to continue living in the United States permanently.

Pathways to Obtaining a Green Card

There are several ways through which immigrants can qualify for Green Cards, including:

  1. Family sponsorship: U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can sponsor certain family members for permanent residency. Close family members of U.S. citizens can receive Green Cards through Immediate Relative visas, and other family members of U.S. citizens or immediate family members of lawful permanent residents may qualify for Green Cards through Family Preference visas.
  2. Fiancé visas: After entering the U.S. on a K-1 visa and marrying their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days, a person can receive a conditional Green Card. After two years, they can apply to remove the conditions on their Green Card and become a lawful permanent resident.
  3. Employment: Immigrants may receive Green Cards based on sponsorship from employers. These Green Cards are most likely to be available to people who possess unique skills or would benefit the U.S. economically through the work they perform. Categories of employment-based visas and Green Cards include priority workers, professionals, skilled and unskilled workers, and special immigrants like religious workers.
  4. Asylum and refugee status: People who are fleeing persecution or hostile conditions in their home countries may apply for protections that will allow them to live in the United States. People who have been granted asylum or admitted to the U.S. as refugees can apply for a Green Card one year after receiving asylee or refugee status.
  5. VAWA/U Visas: U.S. immigration laws provide protections to immigrants who are the victims of crimes or domestic abuse, allowing them to come forward to report these crimes, participate in the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, and protect the safety of themselves and other family members without worrying that they could face deportation. These options will also allow qualifying immigrants to apply for Green Cards and become lawful permanent residents of the U.S.

Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing

The process of obtaining a Green Card may be different depending on the applicant's current location and status. When applying for permanent resident status, a person will typically use one of two options:

  • Adjustment of status: People who are already in the U.S. with nonimmigrant status or on a temporary visa may apply to receive a Green Card as long as an immigrant visa is immediately available to them. In these cases, they will not be required to return to their home country to complete the application process.
  • Consular processing: When an applicant is currently living outside of the United States, they may apply for a Green Card through a U.S. embassy or consulate. They will attend interviews with immigration officials and complete other application procedures abroad before they will be given permission to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Requirements and Potential Complications

Applicants for Green Cards must meet various requirements, including providing proof of eligibility under their specific immigrant category, an affidavit of support from a U.S. citizen sponsor, and other forms and documents. They will also be required to undergo medical examinations, receive vaccinations, and pass background checks that may address their criminal history or other issues. They will attend interviews with immigration officials, and they also may be screened when entering the United States.

In some cases, complications can arise that may affect a person's ability to receive a Green Card. A person may be deemed inadmissible to the United States due to criminal convictions, previous violations of immigration laws, health-related grounds, or other issues. However, waivers of inadmissibility may be available, and a person may be granted a Green card if they can show that refusing to allow them to enter or remain in the United States would result in significant hardship for someone who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Contact Our Fairfax County Green Card Lawyers

For those seeking to become permanent residents of the United States, The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC can provide invaluable legal assistance. With our strong understanding of immigration law and our experience helping clients apply for visas and Green Cards, we can work to ensure that immigrants will be able to pursue opportunities in the U.S. Contact us today by calling 571-441-2233 for a free consultation.

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