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green card

The best immigration attorneys are those that know the law in and out.  Not only is the law as immense as Lake Michigan, but it is confusing as well.  For every rule, there’s at least one exception.  For every exception there exist a dozen stipulations.  It’s enough to tear your hair out when you are in need of a clear answer and want to regularize your immigration status so that you can be a consistent presence in your family and friends’ lives.  The complexity of the law is precisely why lawyers spend several years reading thousands of court cases and statutes and investing months of preparation for the bar exam—there’s always more to know than there is time to learn.

Connecting With Your Chicago Immigration Attorney

The good thing is that when you connect with a knowledgeable and down to earth attorney who cares about your future and wants to find a solution for you, it almost feels as if the seas were parting.  The value of a lawyer who knows how to explain the options and give you a clear picture of how the law works is immense because even when the answer isn’t good, at least you understand why the answer is what it is and where you can go from there.  

Nevertheless, it’s a whole lot better when there is a solution for you case and a clear strategy exists for how to obtain a green card. The “green card” is slang for what we lawyers call lawful permanent residence status or “LPR” status for short.  So, let’s review a number of the common pathways to obtaining that coveted LPR credential.

Ways to Get a Green Card #1: Marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

Even people who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. can apply for a waiver to erase the immigration impact of that history if they are married to a U.S. citizen or LPR.  Those who have entered the U.S. on a visa, even if they overstayed the visa, can usually obtain their residency within the U.S. without the need to apply for a waiver if they indeed can prove a lawful entry into the country.  

Ways to Get a Green Card #2: Residency through Employment

Individuals who are coveted employees can obtain residency with the help of their employers if they meet certain requirements.  This can be a problem for individuals who are unlawfully present in the U.S. currently unless they were filed for under Section 245(i) of the immigration statute, which means that a family member filed for them before May of 2001.  Other solutions may exist for this issue.  Some good news in this area is that for average laborers many countries are close to current in the 2016 visa bulletins, which means they can be filed for sometimes within a year or sometimes even less if the job is not a professional or skilled position.

Ways to Get a Green Card #3: Residency Through Investment

Immigrants who have money to invest in the U.S. to start or build a business are often eligible for residency or an immigration status that affords many of the benefits of residency if they can create jobs and grow a business that will benefit U.S. communities.  Sometimes as little as $50,000 can be a sufficient investment amount to obtain this immigration status which you can perpetually renew as long as the business continues to function.  Another option is the EB-5 investment, which requires $500,000 or $1,000,000 in business investment and the creation of ten jobs for U.S. workers.

Ways to Get a Green Card #4: Crime Victims

The U visa as well as a number of other visa types allows individuals who have been victim to a crime in the U.S. and cooperated with the police in investigating or prosecuting that crime to obtain a work permit and subsequently obtain a visa status.  After holding the visa for three years these people can apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S.

Free Consultation With a Chicago Immigration Attorney

Click here to schedule a free consultation with me so that we can discuss what options might exist for you to obtain a lawful immigration status.  Our team of Chicago based immigration attorneys have obtained residency for literally thousands of immigrants in the 12 years we have been practicing law.  

We pride ourselves on being regular people, friendly lawyers who don’t talk down to our clients or make you feel like you aren’t smart enough to get it—all our clients “get it” when we take the time and care to explain it well to you.  Our principal was a high school instructor in the Chicago Public Schools for many years before opening the practice and this is the philosophy we all practice at Katz Law Office, Ltd. – we know how to teach and be a real person, not a typical robotic lawyer.

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None of the advice contained in these materials serves as a substitute for individualized legal representation by a licensed attorney with experience in the practice area.

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