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Do I Need to Retain an Attorney to Obtain a Green Card?

by: Justin Burton

Anyone familiar in the least with U.S. immigration law has almost certainly heard of a “green card,” which is the informal name of a permanent resident status card that can be issued to an alien person. When an individual obtains his or her green card, it allows that person to live and work in the United States indefinitely and represents a milestone in a person’s path to United States citizenship. As a result, many people who are immigrants to the United States would like to obtain a green card and often wonder whether an attorney is needed to do so. While there is no requirement that immigrants retain a lawyer, it can be very helpful in a number of ways, some of which are detailed below.

An Attorney can Help Determine your Eligibility

Not everyone is eligible to apply for a green card. Some of the ways in which a person can gain eligibility for permanent resident status include family-based immigration, a job offer, refugee or asylum status, investment-based immigration, and other programs. A lawyer familiar with U.S. immigration law will thoroughly analyze your circumstances and inform you as to whether you are eligible to apply for a green card.

Your Lawyer can Assist in Collecting And Preparing Your Documentation

Obtaining permanent resident status often involves collecting a significant amount of personal documentation. In addition, the application process involves substantial paperwork, some of which is legally complicated and may be difficult for a non-native English speaker to understand. Fortunately for people seeking a green card, an experienced lawyer can help with both of these tasks and maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result as quickly as possible.

A Lawyer will Represent your Position if an Issue with Your Application Arises

Not all green card applications go smoothly. Furthermore, there are often issues in a person’s past that may make him or her inadmissible. Fortunately, when these kinds of problems with a green card application arise, there are often many things that an attorney can do in order to improve the chances of getting a green card. Sometimes, these problems arise simply because immigration authorities are misinterpreting certain facts or documents regarding your application. In others, there may be a legitimate issue with your application requiring legal action, such as obtaining a “waiver of inadmissibility,” which can allow an otherwise inadmissible person to obtain a green card.

An Attorney Can Often Make The Process Take Less Time

While there are standard processing times associated with green card applications that the assistance of a lawyer will likely not be able to affect, if problems arise, an attorney can often help move the process along. In many instances, navigating the vast bureaucracy associated with the United States immigration system can be extremely difficult, and simply knowing the right department to call or the correct individual with whom to speak can have a significant impact on whether an application continues through the process or gets stalled due to clerical or administrative errors or misjudgments.

Contact A Chicago Immigration Attorney To Discuss Your Case

Individuals who are seeking permanent resident status should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The Chicago immigration lawyers of Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC are dedicated to helping people who have legal issues related to obtaining a green card or other matters related to immigration. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 312-332-2550.

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