Green Card Lawyer in Houston Helping Clients Make Their Dreams of Citizenship a Reality
The first step on the path to the American dream and citizenship is to obtain a green card. However, the path to citizenship can be a challenging and complex process. The formally recognized name for a green card is “permanent resident card.” A green card allows a foreign national or immigrant the ability to live and work in the United States legally.
Nevertheless, many immigrants are confused about how they should begin their immigration journey. For this reason, the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC of Houston, TX, is dedicated to providing individuals and their families with the immigration services they need to start their new life. Our legal staff has extensive experience helping immigrants realize their dream of obtaining United States citizenship.
Our experienced legal team can answer your questions and explain the complicated process involved with becoming a lawful permanent resident. If you or other family members would like more information about the green card process or have questions about eligibility requirements, contact our Houston green card lawyer immediately and ask to schedule an initial consultation.
How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Green Card?
The time it takes to obtain a Green Card varies depending on the type of Green Card needed. However, it generally takes 7 to 33 months for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to complete the Green Card application process.
- Employment-Based Green Cards typically take anywhere from one year for visas that are in low demand. However, visas in higher demand may take four to six years to obtain.
- Family Preference Green Cards typically take anywhere from 1 to 10 years, depending on the wait times and yearly caps.
However, to speed up processing times, individuals can pay an extra fee for premium processing, which guarantees application completion within 15 days. If, for some reason, the application is not processed within 15 days, the applicant is refunded the processing fee and will continue with expedited processing.
In most instances, an individual must obtain an immigrant visa before applying for a Green Card. For anyone who wishes to use premium processing to obtain an immigrant visa, it is always best to consult with an experienced Houston immigration lawyer who can ensure the application is filled out correctly.
Our legal team is ready to assist you by providing assistance with your green card application. Contact our law firm to schedule an appointment and learn how we may be able to help.
What is the Employment First Preference?
Employment-based immigration enables employers to hire skilled foreign workers to meet their workforce needs. Every year there are 140,000 green cards available to foreign workers with in-demand job skills or extraordinary abilities. These preferred employees and workers typically qualify for an EB-1 visa and may include multinational executives or managers, outstanding professors, or researchers.
Another significant benefit of having an EB-1 visa is that individuals may apply for a green card without leaving the country. However, the eligibility requirements for skilled workers to obtain an EB-1 visa are quite stringent and can be overly confusing.
However, several other options may be available if you do not qualify for an EB-1 visa. For example, the green card lottery program allows individuals to immigrate to the United States based on ethnic diversity.
Therefore, if you or a family member are a foreign national who wishes to come to the United States, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced immigration attorney who can answer your questions and determine what legal options may be available.
What is Family Based Immigration?
Green Card holders and U.S. citizens have the option to file a petition for their immediate relatives to try and help them obtain permanent residency. Immediate relatives have first priority and are defined as spouses and children under 21.
Additionally, the USCIS has preference categories for which individuals may try to obtain permanent residence status for their non-immediate relatives:
- First Preference: Unmarried sons or daughters of U.S. citizens over age 21.
- Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried children (under age 21) of individuals who have lawful permanent resident status. Additionally, unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents over the age of 21 also fall under the second preference category.
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
The U.S. citizen or permanent resident who files the petition must demonstrate that sponsorship fits into one of the categories in the alien relative petition. The date the petition is filed is known as the priority date. Individuals who qualify as immediate relatives are given first priority and are not required to wait for a visa to become available after the petition is approved.
Although the process seems relatively straightforward, family-based immigration laws can be challenging to try and navigate independently. Consequently, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced immigration attorney from the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC. Our Houston green card lawyer can help you determine if your family member is eligible for immediate relative status or what other legal options may be available.
Can Hiring an Attorney Help to Speed Up the Green Card Application Process?
The green card immigration process can be lengthy, and individuals often make the mistake of trying to handle matters independently. However, immigration law seems to change constantly and requires help from a skilled attorney.
When you hire an experienced green card lawyer, they can assist you with filling out the necessary legal paperwork and ensuring there are no errors that could cause the application to be delayed or denied.
The Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC of Harris County, is dedicated to helping individuals and families obtain permanent residency. We offer a full range of immigration services, including assisting those immigrants who wish to apply for an adjustment of status due to marriage or a permanent job offer. We can also offer help obtaining supporting documents and dealing with Homeland Security.
Additionally, if you are a widow or abused spouse, our law office can also help you with services that can help you in obtaining a green card. However, green cards are only valid for 10 years and can only be renewed through permanent resident status.
The Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon, PLLC, is a law firm dedicated to helping immigrants achieve the American dream. If we choose to take your case, we will act as your legal advocate and by you throughout the entire immigration process.
Unlike other immigration lawyers, we understand firsthand how challenging it can be to become an American citizen. As a result, we strive to help every client as if they were our family members.
If you are still trying to determine the advantages of hiring an immigration attorney to help you, an immediate family member, or other relatives come to the United States legally, contact our law office at 281-606-0800 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.