Understanding the Role of a Green Card Attorney in the Immigration Process
A green card is an immigration document that gives a person lawful permanent residency in the United States. Whether you want to pursue a green card for yourself or sponsor a family member, working with an attorney is essential.
Immigration attorneys can help applicants through the process, from filing initial applications to preparing for interviews with USCIS officers. They can also help with waivers of inadmissibility.
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Even the most streamlined green card applications entail filling out numerous forms and gathering supporting documentation. Any misstep could lead to the case being delayed, rejected, or worse. Green card lawyers have a long history of dealing with this paperwork and know how to navigate the bureaucracy that is US immigration.
A lawyer can guide the type of documentation that is required based on your specific case. For example, suppose you are applying for a family-based green card. In that case, a lawyer can help you gather all the necessary documents proving your relationship with your spouse and children. A lawyer can also help you prepare for interviews. A reasonable attorney can also assist with any issues that may arise during the application process, such as if you are found inadmissible due to prior visa overstays, criminal convictions, significant health issues, or other factors. They can work to overcome these obstacles and give you the best chance of achieving your dream.
Even the most straightforward immigration applications require filling out several forms and collecting a great deal of supporting documentation. An experienced green card attorney has a keen understanding of the format of these documents and is aware of what specific information immigration agents are looking for. This can mean fewer errors and faster processing time for your application.
The first thing that your green card lawyer will do is make sure you or your family is eligible for lawful permanent residency. That means determining whether you qualify as an immediate family member of a US citizen; as a worker with exceptional abilities; or as an extraordinary immigrant (including refugees, religious workers, minors who are abuse victims, and employees of select international organizations). A skilled green card attorney knows the rules and regulations in detail so they can prepare your paperwork correctly the first time. This helps avoid costly mistakes and delays.
Depending on your case, you may have to interview with the government. A Green Card attorney can help prepare you for the interview so that you are ready to provide answers and have the documentation that supports those answers.
For instance, if your sponsor submitted an Affidavit of Support showing the financial capacity to support you and all members of your household, then you should bring supporting documentation such as utility bills and bank statements. If, during the interview, the officer determines that your sponsor does not have sufficient resources to help you, they will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to request more proof of income or other information.
An experienced Green Card lawyer understands all of the questions that can be asked and will prepare you for your interview so that you can answer questions truthfully. This helps ensure your application is approved and prevents the need to fight a Needless RFE or Notice of Intent to Deny.
Help with Waivers of Inadmissibility
The US government imposes harsh and long-term penalties for breaking immigration laws. Often those penalties result from an inadmissibility finding that means a person is legally barred from applying for a visa or green card to come into the country. This can happen for many reasons, including serious health concerns, criminal activity, prior immigration violations, and national security issues.
However, being deemed inadmissible does not necessarily mean it bothers me when you are barred from entering the country, and it can often be waived under specific legal standards. A DC Green Card attorney can help prepare your application for a waiver of inadmissibility so that it is as strong as possible to increase your chances of success.
Waivers are typically granted if it can be proven that being denied admission would cause extreme hardship to a qualifying family member of the applicant. This type of waiver is most often used in cases involving family-based visas, such as marriage-based or employment-based immigrant visas.