U.S. Immigration Status Adjustment Attorneys in Texas
U.S. Immigrant Visas - Adjustment of Immigrant Status
Adjustment of Status/Green Cards
U.S. Immigration and Green Card Lawyers in Texas
Texas Immigrant Visas - E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
For many foreign nationals, lawful permanent resident status, commonly referred to as "green card status" is the key to a better life in America. With a green card, you can work legally in the United States. You can get a driver's license and a social security number. You can get better jobs at better pay, and travel outside the U.S. Most of all, you and your family will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with legal permanent residency status.
Please contact an experienced US green card attorney at Christiansen Law Firm, located in Houston, San Antonio and Lufkin today for a free initial consultation. We have years of experience helping foreign nationals obtain green cards. We'd like to help you, too. You can rely on our skilled immigration law attorneys to handle the process efficiently and cost-effectively.
How to Obtain a Green Card
GREEN CARDS / PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS
U.S. immigration laws focus on the intention of the individual who desires to come to the United States, distinguishing between "immigrant intent" and "non-immigrant intent". For those who desire to reside permanently in the U.S., the goal is to obtain permanent resident status, also known as "green card" status. Generally speaking, only individuals with a qualifying relationship to a family member or employer may obtain permanent resident status. Of course, there are some exceptions to this requirement. Those with non-immigrant intent may apply for a temporary non-immigrant visa, each of which contains certain restrictions and each of which will expire.
Two different routes exist for obtaining permanent resident status; consular processing (for those outside the United States) and "adjustment of status" (for those inside the United States and are otherwise eligible for adjustment of status.
Are You Eligible for Adjustment of Status?
Eligibility for adjustment of status is sometimes a complex issue. Generally, an individual who entered the U.S. after inspection and admission (or parole), who is eligible to receive an immigrant visa, is "admissible" for permanent residence, and who have an immigrant visa immediately available, may apply for adjustment of status. If eligible for adjustment of status, the visa petition and application for adjustment of status may be filed concurrently. Complex rules govern whether an individual is "admissible" . For those who are inadmissible, a waiver of the ground of inadmissibility may be available. Whether the visa is immediately available depends on whether the individual falls within a preference category, and if so, whether visa numbers are currently available for that particular preference category. The U.S. Department of State website publishes monthly a Visa Bulletin which contains the current priority dates for the various preference categories.
Certain individuals may be eligible for adjustment of status despite having entered the U.S. illegally (without being inspected and admitted or paroled). Generally, to qualify for adjustment, these individuals must show continuous physical presence in the U.S. since December 21, 2000 and that they are the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition filed on or before April 30, 2001. Exceptions to this general rule need to be examined in any case to determine whether an individual is eligible for adjustment of status.
We Can Advise You About Waivers of Inadmissability
If the individual is not eligible for adjustment of status, the visa petition is adjudicated at the U.S. consulate office in the person's home country. When applying for an immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate, admissibility must be shown. A person may be inadmissible because of health related grounds, criminal background, security grounds, or financial grounds. These grounds of inadmissibility may be overcome by the grant of a waiver of inadmissibility.
Permanent resident status permits the person to reside permanently in the U.S., work legally, and otherwise live a normal life in the U.S. However, a permanent resident is subject to removal upon the commission of certain types of crimes, and permanent resident status can be held to be abandoned if the person remains outside the U.S. for more than a continuous 6 month period. Further, a permanent resident is not permitted to vote in any local, state or federal election.
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