A visa allows someone to legally enter the United States and to live here temporarily. Most visas are eligible for renewal at least once before someone will need to plan to leave the country. Those who abide by certain rules while living in the United States on a visa may potentially qualify for a green card.
Also known as a permanent resident card, a green card lets someone live in the United States indefinitely. Unlike visas that only last for a few years, green cards are generally valid for 10 years at a time. Those who are hoping to secure a green card can benefit from bringing in an attorney to help them with the process. What role does a lawyer play when someone wants to adjust their status to become a permanent resident?
They verify someone’s eligibility
It may be difficult for a person to evaluate whether they are currently in a position to apply for a green card. Not only do they have to determine that they qualify under one of the basic programs, such as employment green cards or family-based green cards, but they also have to review their personal background.
Some people might theoretically qualify for a program but may not meet the residency requirements or may have complications on their criminal record that they need to address before adjusting their status. Attorneys can help people determine if they are ready to apply.
Lawyers manage state paperwork
The documents required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be difficult for people to accurately complete, especially if English is their second language. A lawyer knows how to handle the paperwork and can manage the process of filling out and submitting paperwork on time as required by the USCIS.
Lawyers will be ready to handle any challenges
Those who encounter an issue on their path to permanent residency will often require the support of a lawyer even if they handled the initial application on their own. The process of looking for an attorney and bringing them up to speed on the situation can put someone at a disadvantage, as timely responses are often necessary when there are issues with someone’s immigration status.
Finally, it is worth noting that working with an attorney means having a professional and calm advocate available to speak on someone’s behalf in any hearings and at any important meetings. Their presence can make a major difference in someone’s likelihood of success and can drastically reduce the chances of them making a mistake. Learning more about status adjustment and green cards can help those who would like to remain in the country permanently get the help they need while applying to accomplish this goal.