Guiding Individuals and Families Through the Complex Process
In the United States, a green card allows immigrants to live and work in the country, and it’s the first step toward permanent citizenship. At The Scheer Immigration Law Group in Morristown, New Jersey, we help you through the green card application process and make sure that you avoid the delays and processing errors that plague the system. Our firm has extensive knowledge of the green card system in the United States, and we help determine which type of certification works in your best interest.
Download Our Free Immigration Guide
Green Cards Can Be Obtained in Various Ways
Our experienced New Jersey Green Card Lawyer works with every type of applicant who needs legal assistance. The different types of green cards are:
- Family-based — If you are related to a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, parent, child or sibling, you can apply for a family-based visa, which can be upgraded to a green card after approval.
- Employment-based — When you are offered permanent employment in the United States, you can be sponsored for a green card by your employer. We represent employer sponsors and workers who wish to obtain a green card.
- Asylum — When citizens of another country have a fear of persecution or violence upon returning to their homes, the United States can offer asylum status. A year after your asylum is established, you and your family can apply for a green card, which grants you the legal right to work and live in the United States.
If you obtain a green card, you can live and work in the United States and will be on the path to becoming a citizen. Although a green card is the precursor to becoming a permanent resident of the United States, certain restrictions are placed on you, such as the inability to vote and the threat of deportation if you are convicted of certain crimes. Some green cards last ten years, but conditional green cards last only two, and carry additional requirements.
>> Will I need my documents translated to get a green card?
You will need to get your documents translated into English before you go to your review at the U.S. Embassy. These translations must be certified. You will need to submit the originals as well as the translations to the National Visa Center, a sort of intermediary between the USCIS and the Embassy, before you go to your Embassy review.
>> Can I include my spouse and children on my green card application?
Your spouse and children can almost always be included on a green card application. You must begin, however, by applying as an individual. The applicant is the principal beneficiary. After your initial petition is approved, you can name your spouse and children as derivative beneficiaries. If they are already in the U.S., you can go through final processing together. If they are outside of the U.S., they can go through processing separately, after you’ve obtained your green card.
>> Can my father sponsor me if he isn’t on my birth certificate?
If your father is a U.S. citizen or green card holder, he can sponsor you for a green card. This is the case even if his name isn’t on your birth certificate. In this situation, you might need to provide a DNA test, and evidence that you have had an emotional relationship. Cards or letters, money orders, or other forms of documented communication would count.
>> Can a stepparent sponsor me?
In this case, the determining factor is when your biological parent married your stepparent. If you were under 18 when your biological parent married your stepparent, then your stepparent can sponsor your green card application – even if you’re currently over 21.
>> Can my employer sponsor my application for a green card?
For an employer to sponsor a foreign national for a green card, the employer would have to demonstrate inability to find a qualified U.S. worker. The employer may demonstrate this by running ads in a local paper. The employer then must demonstrate the ability to pay your wage, generally by presenting tax returns.
>> I have a green card. Can I study abroad?
If you have a green card you can use the I-131 form to apply for a reentry permit. This will allow you to stay outside the U.S. for two years. You will have to submit proof of why you want to study abroad, and submit fingerprints before you obtain that permit. If you leave the U.S. without submitting your fingerprints, USCIS will deny your application for a travel permit.
>> I have a green card. How do I become naturalized?
A Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card holder”) could remain a green card holder, or petition to become an American citizen. To become eligible to apply for citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old, you must have been a Lawful Permanent Resident for five years (or three if you are married to a U.S. citizen), without any significant absences (6 months or more). Additionally, you must satisfy the following:
- Evidence of good moral character.
- Establish knowledge of U.S. history and government.
- Demonstrate the ability to read and write basic English.
- Establish knowledge of and attachment to the U.S. Constitution.
When a client has an initial consultation, the New Jersey Green Card Lawyer should gather as much information as possible in order to set forth realistic expectations. Before proceeding with a naturalization application, it is important to know if a client has been subject to any past legal problems, such as an arrest, taxation issues, or a period when the person fell out of status. An attorney can accompany the applicant to the naturalization interview, which is especially helpful if English is not a client’s strongest language. If a client cannot speak English at all, an attorney may be able to file a medical exception. If you have had a green card for 20 years and are at least 50 years old, or 15 years and are at least 55 years old, you will still have to pass the history and civics part of the citizenship test, but can take the test in your native language. A mental or physical disability might also be grounds for an exemption.
How Our New Jersey Green Card Lawyer Can Help
When you come to The Scheer Immigration Law Group seeking a green card, our firm gives you the benefit of our deep understanding of U.S. immigration laws. For a family-based green card, we confirm that your relative is eligible to sponsor you and help you fill out the proper I-130 forms. If you are seeking an employment-based visa, our firm represents both the immigrant workers and the employers looking to sponsor him or her. In asylum cases, we confirm your status as an asylee and assist you with the I-485 paperwork required.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Green Card Lawyer for Help
Call The Scheer Immigration Law Group today at (973) 532-5330 or contact us online. We can help you determine how to obtain a green card. Our firm offers consultations and our entire staff is bilingual.
Download Our Free Immigration Guide