Green Card Attorneys in St. Charles, MO
Green card holders can legally reside in the United States for the rest of their lives. Getting into the United States can take as little as a few weeks or as long as a decade or more, depending on how you got here or how you plan to get here. In the following section, we outline the most common methods for obtaining a green card.
- What is your immigration visa preference?
- Preference Categories of Visa in Missouri
- Get a green card attorney in St. Charles, MO
Let’s discover the ways to get a green card and how a St Charles green card attorney can help you through the process. Schedule a consultation with our Missouri immigration attorneys at Gateway Immigration Law Firm to discuss your immigration concerns.
What is your immigration visa preference?
Knowing your Immigrant visa preference categories is the initial step toward obtaining a green card, and there is only a handful of them. An immediate relative or close family member visa or a highly skilled worker visa is your best bet for a Green Card in the United States of America.
In contrast, only a small number of diversity lottery visas are issued each year, thus your chances of becoming a legal permanent resident in the US are pretty slim.
Categories and Speed of Immigration
Your prospects of getting a green card are greatly influenced by your immigration status. It is possible that you may only have to wait a few months for an immigrant visa if you qualify under one of the numerous categories with a short backlog, such as direct family members or someone who has been living in the country for a certain period.
Immigrant Visa Categories and the Visa Bulletin
We may obtain an understanding of how immigrant visa categories work by looking at the most recent information on visa availability from the US Department of State.
Each year, the US limits the number of immigrant visas granted in each category and to immigrants born in particular countries. Section 203 of the Immigration and Nationality Act details the allotment.
The Visa Bulletin breaks down these categories and their numerical constraints. One may find two primary groups of people in the Visa Bulletin. Choices are made on the basis of one’s place of work, or one’s own personal preferences.
Spouses, minor children, and parents of US citizens are not included in the list of family-based visa holders. As a result, immigrant family members can easily obtain visa numbers. The Visa Bulletin classifies visas.
The Visa Bulletin has a table with the deadlines for each category. If your priority date falls within the cut-off date, you can apply for a visa. Your priority date is the day USCIS accepts and processes your immigration petition.
Visas for Immediate Family
Direct relatives of US residents or LPRs often get priority. Close relatives include minor children, spouses, and parents. Those seeking permanent residency should have a close relative who would sponsor them.
Relatives of permanent residents will be next in line. Most get visas in two years.
The longest wait times for immigrant visas are for married adult children and siblings of US residents. Some take decades.
Our Missouri immigration lawyers can help you save time and money. Self-management of the immigration process may result in increased costs, delays, or even rejection. Call our St Charles immigration attorneys to save yourself thousands of dollars and years of waiting.
Work and family preference categories are similar. The Visa Bulletin lists the category cutoff dates. Employers will prefer you over a relative in employment preference categories.
There are various educational and skill requirements for employment-based immigration. Immigrating becomes easier when educational or technical requirements are higher (with some exceptions). Unskilled immigrants may face greater obstacles than educated immigrants.
Employment-based petitions are processed faster, but both the immigrant and the employer must submit paperwork.
Employment First Preference (EB-1 visa)
Priority employees are the only ones eligible for the employment first preference category. Internationally famous artists, award-winning scientists, executives, or CEOs of global corporations are examples of these exceptional professionals. The first priority category has never had a visa backlog.
Employment Second Preference (EB-2 visa): Professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional talent
A Second Preference candidate must have a certified labor certification. An employment offer is necessary, and the employer must submit Form I-140 on behalf of the applicant. If the exemption is in the national interest, applicants may seek a National Interest Waiver. In this situation, the applicant may self-petition by completing Form I-140 with proof of national interest. People with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities get 28.6% of the annual global cap on employment-based immigration visas, plus any unused Employment First Preference visas.
This category has two subgroups:
- With a master’s or doctorate degree and five years of professional experience.
- Exceptional talent in the arts, sciences, or business. Exceptional ability indicates having competence well above the norm in the sciences, arts, or business.
Employment Third Preference (EB-3 visa): Skilled, Professional, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
The potential employer must have submitted an authorized Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140. All such personnel must be certified by the Department of Labor. S&P&U gets 28.6% of the annual global cap of employment-based immigration visas, plus any unused Employment First and Second Preference visas.
This category has three subgroups:
- Skilled employees are non-seasonal workers who have completed a minimum of two years of training.
- Employers look for professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree from a US institution or college, or its international equivalent.
- Unskilled employees (other workers) are those who can fill jobs that don’t need more than two years of training or experience.
Employment Fourth Preference (EB-4 visa)
There are four “special” employment-based preference categories for immigrants, including religious workers while awaiting a decision on their immigration status. Consider consulting with an immigration attorney before deciding to apply for this category, since there are a lot of rules and regulations that must be met.
Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5 visa)
Foreign investors who plan to generate jobs in the United States fall under the fifth employment-based preference group. A business that employs ten or more full-time U.S. citizens or permanent residents must have an investment of $500,000 to $1 million in personal assets before an immigrant can be considered for this type of visa. Unless you’re from China, you won’t have to wait long if you meet the requirements and pass the rigorous screening process of the USCIS.
Diversity Visa Program
The Diversity Visa (DV) program has a “lottery” for green cards. 55,000 visas are available to immigrants from countries with low permanent residency applications. If you meet the criteria and win the lottery, you don’t have to wait.
Missouri immigration lawyers can help you get a green card.
Moving to a new country can be difficult. The forms, rules, and requirements are overwhelming to deal with alone. So we strongly advise you to consult one of our qualified immigration lawyers. If we can’t help you, there’s no charge. Due to their status, most undocumented immigrants believe they are ineligible for a Green Card or another legal status in the US. With our help, many undocumented immigrants can obtain legal status. Please contact us.
Additional Info About Green Card Holders
LPRs, often known as green card holders, have a wide range of rights in the United States. They are able to work, own property, travel, and even sponsor their relatives to immigrate to the United States. However, lawful permanent residence, is not the same as citizenship. If you do any of the following, you risk losing your right to live and work in the United States:
Abandon your status as a resident.
If you leave the United States for more than six months at a time, you might face deportation and lose your green card. You won’t lose your green card automatically, but you could attract the notice of a customs agent when returning to the United States, or while seeking citizenship, and you’ll have to appear before an immigration court.
Failure to inform United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of an address change.
You must keep immigration authorities informed of your current residence.
You are guilty of some offenses.
Crimes such as immigration fraud, impersonating a U.S. citizen, treason, and espionage are only a few examples.
- Other than a single offense of possession of a tiny quantity of marijuana, there are no drug offenses.
- Being the subject of a protective order and then breaking that order.
- Murder, manslaughter, serious violence, theft or robbery, and fraud are examples of “moral turpitude” crimes, which are hotly debated in immigration court. Misdemeanors are included in this category.
- Aggravated felonies – more severe offenses, such as those involving guns, and are determined by state criminal law.
When detained by ICE, LPRs can choose to appear in immigration court or be deported immediately. If you have been charged with a crime or have outstanding criminal issues, you must see an immigration lawyer who understands the impact of different criminal pleas on your immigration status. Gateway Immigration Law Firm has experienced criminal and immigration attorneys ready to defend you.
Call our St Charles Green Card Attorneys Today!
When detained by ICE, LPRs can choose to go before an immigration court rather than be deported immediately. If you’ve been charged with a crime or have a criminal record, understanding immigration law and the ramifications of different pleas is critical. Our Missouri immigration attorneys at Gateway Immigration Law Firm are ready to defend your rights.