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Securing a green card makes you a permanent U.S. resident. It does not grant citizenship, but you can live and work in America permanently and U.S. laws protect you. With counsel from a knowledgeable immigration attorney, you can go on to become a naturalized citizen, too.

A family member or employer may be able to sponsor you, or you may qualify for a green card as a refugee for humanitarian reasons or as an asylum seeker. When you are interested in the pathway to life in the U.S., let a Fort Worth green card lawyer work on your behalf.

Petitioning for a Green Card

There is a process green card applicants must go through when submitting petitions. The basic steps are:

  • File an immigrant petition after enlisting a relative or employer as a sponsor
  • Wait for review of a petition by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Upon USCIS approval, there must be a visa available in the applicant’s category, which then permits an immigrant to file a green card application with USCIS or a visa application with the U.S. Department of State
  • Applicants are fingerprinted and photographed
  • Attend an interview with USCIS, which could include questions pertinent to an applicant’s life, relationship with the sponsor, and future plans

A Fort Worth green card attorney could guide an immigrant through each step of the permanent residency journey, answer questions, and address concerns.

A Sponsor’s Role

Sponsors are key to the immigration process and must meet certain criteria. Sponsors must be 18 or older, U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and live in the U.S. or one of its territories. They also have financial responsibility for applicants and must be able to show they have the assets and money to handle it.

Sponsoring Immediate Family and By Family Preference

Immediate family members, including spouses, parents, minors, and unmarried children, have a time advantage when a U.S. citizen sponsors them. They do not have to wait for an immigrant visa, which is immediately available once USCIS approves their petition. When a green card holder sponsors immediate family, or if a citizen is sponsoring an adult child, the applicants are placed on a waiting list to receive a visa after USCIS approves the petition.

The family preference category applies to family members who are not immediate members and, like the adult children of U.S. citizens, are waitlisted until USCIS approves their petitions. This class includes married children, brothers, and sisters. Lawful permanent residents can sponsor spouses and unmarried adult children who must wait for a visa. A green card lawyer in Fort Worth can determine the category that matches a client’s situation.

Employer Sponsorships

Employers seeking specific and talented employees can apply for a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire foreign workers, effectively sponsoring them for green cards. The Labor Department ensures that the job offered does not negatively affect U.S. workers and that more U.S. workers are needed to fill the jobs. Different visas are reserved for different workers.

The EB-1 first preference visa is for immigrants who have excelled in science, the arts, business, education, or athletics. Three other EB preferences favor professionals with certain labor certifications or advanced degrees, skilled workers, and other degreed niches. Other preferences include religious leaders, journalists, and select employees who have aided the U.S. government abroad. The EB-5 preference is reserved for immigrants who can invest between $500,000 and $1 million in a U.S. based business.

Start Your Immigration Journey With a Fort Worth Green Card Attorney

The Meza Law Firm understands the gravity of your decision to leave your home country and resettle in America and wants to help ensure your smooth transition to your new country.

You can be part of the country’s incredible and continuing journey and contribute your talents toward a better life for your family. A Fort Worth green card lawyer is available to support and guide you. Call for your consultation now.