What to Expect During the Green Card Process

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What to Expect During the Green Card Process

Many people living in the United States on a temporary visa, or even with no status at all, seek ways to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders). The process of becoming a green card holder is tedious, long, and sometimes just frustrating. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have experienced immigration attorneys who routinely guide clients in the Chicago area to successfully apply for and obtain green cards.

Steps in Green Card Application Process:

  • Determining Basis for Applying

There are two primary avenues through which one can obtain a green card, and these are employment or family-based immigration. There are other situations under which one can obtain a green card, but these two are the most common. You should first determine what is the best basis to proceed under, and if you are not sure, an experienced immigration lawyer.

  • Preparing and Filing Application

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency that handles all applications and petitions for immigration benefits such as green cards. In some cases, the agency works in collaboration with the U.S. State Department, especially in cases involving applicants outside the United States. As with all government benefits, an application with USCIS is paperwork heavy. 

  • Obtaining Work Authorization

Depending on what type or category under which one applies for a green card, you may be eligible to also apply for an employment authorization document (EAD). An EAD will normally be approved so long as that application for the green card was properly filed within the United States, and under a proper basis.

  • Biometrics

After you have filed your application for a green card, USCIS will send you a letter of appointment to have your biometrics (fingerprints, photo, and signature) taken at a local USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) nearest to you. It is important not to miss this appointment because doing so will result in further delay in this already lengthy process.

  • Interview

An interview for a green card will be conducted at a local USCIS office if the applicant is in the United States or at an embassy or consulate closest to the address listed on the application. As with the biometrics appointment, the applicant invited for the interview must attend – otherwise, the application will be denied or the applicant will suffer long delays in having the case reopened or rescheduled for another interview date. A decision to approve or not to approve the application will be made either during or after the interview.

A Chicago Immigration Lawyer Can Assist With the Process

If you are applying for a green card and wish to go through the process seamlessly, contact our office to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.