For individuals with Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status in the United States, the physical proof of their lawful residence comes in the form of a Permanent Resident card, or “Green Card”. Successfully applying for this type of authorization from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services can be complex, and even small mistakes during this process could lead to application denial.
Retaining a skilled Washington, DC green card lawyer could make a huge difference in your prospects of success with your LPR application. Whether you need to adjust your status while already living in the United States, apply from outside U.S. borders, or renew a green card you already have, a seasoned immigration attorney could provide the guidance and support you need.
Before applying for a green card, prospective applicants must confirm that they are eligible based on their immigration status. Depending on the circumstances, this may entail seeking sponsorship from a family member or employer, seeking refugee status or asylum, or establishing qualification for a green card based on more unique circumstances that a Washington, DC attorney could explain further if applicable.
Once lawful immigration status is confirmed, a person seeking a green card can start the formal application process by filing Form I-485 along with relevant documentation proving their identity and qualifications for LPR status. Once USCIS processes this application, they typically schedule appointments for both biometrics screening and an interview with an applicant to confirm they are who they say they are and that they do in fact qualify.
Unfortunately, this entire process tends to take several months to conclude, during which applicants can do little else but check their case status online and wait for further communication. If a processing delay lasts for an unreasonable amount of time, though, legal counsel may be able to guide an applicant through their legal options for resolving it.
If USCIS approves an Adjustment of Status application and sends the applicant a green card, it is crucial for this person to understand that their green card will not remain valid forever. To maintain their LPR status, the holder must apply for a renewal by filing Form I-90 if their card will expire within six months or has already expired.
This action may also be required under a number of other circumstances. Some of these include if a legal permanent resident loses their card or it is stolen, or if someone with commuter status is now a permanent resident or vice versa. A knowledgeable lawyer in Washington, DC could help clarify when renewal or replacement of a green card may be necessary.
Few single experiences can change the course of your life as dramatically as getting your green card, regardless of what grounds allow you to qualify. That being said, acquiring a legal permanent resident status is rarely a simple endeavor, and many people who apply for it benefit from the assistance of a qualified legal professional.
By working with a Washington, DC green card lawyer, you could give yourself the best chances of strengthening your future prospects. Call today to learn more.