Chicago Immigration Visas and Green Cards
Visas are documents that give someone permission to be in the United States. There are two types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant.
Immigrant visas, otherwise known as “green cards,” are given to people who are authorized to work and live in the U.S. permanently, unless the government withdraws that access. Green card holders are called lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates represent clients throughout the immigrant visa process. We have experience in all types of immigrant visas, including the following categories.
Adjustment of Status
Many people already in the U.S. need to change their immigration status to that of an LPR or green card holder. They can do so via an adjustment of status (AOS).
An AOS is an application for immigrants located in the U.S. who want to change their status to a LPR. Individuals who are outside the U.S. are unable to apply for an AOS; they must go through consular processing instead.
If a change in status is approved, the applicant gains LPR status in the U.S.
Appeals and Immigration-Related Litigation
People seeking immigration visas often encounter various legal challenges. They may be fighting deportation proceedings, appealing the decisions of immigration judges, or attending merit hearings. Litigation on both the state and federal level can be extremely complicated, and it’s crucial for clients to have an experienced attorney on their side.
Citizenship and Naturalization
LPRs who want to become U.S. citizens must first navigate through the naturalization process. Naturalization (N-400) applicants must follow several steps and take various tests to qualify. Applying for citizenship is often a long and difficult process.
People outside the U.S. who want to apply for an immigrant visa or change their status can do so through consular processing. The process involves both the National Visa Center and U.S. Consular Office in their country of permanent residence.
Consular processing is generally quicker than applying for an AOS.
There are several steps to gaining permanent residence through employment-based sponsorship. In general, the steps are as follows:
- Employer secures a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Employer petitions U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the foreign national
- Foreign national applies for an immigrant via AOS or consular processing
We counsel employers who are interested in hiring international personnel as well as foreign nationals who have received an American job offer and want to live permanently in the U.S.
Employment-creation visas are intended for foreign nationals who want to invest in a commercial enterprise and create jobs in the U.S. This category requires the creation of at least ten new full-time jobs and the investment of at least $1,000,000 in a new or existing business.
Exclusion, Deportation, and Removal Hearings
Exclusion, deportation, and removal proceeding determine whether an immigrant can remain in the U.S. Our attorneys have handled hearings, waivers, warrants, and litigation in these areas.The removal process is stressful, intimidating, and scary. It’s important to seek legal advice and stay informed.
One of the most common ways for someone to obtain an immigrant visa or LPR status is through family sponsorship. Citizens and LPRs can petition for certain family members to immigrate to the U.S.:
- Unmarried children under 21 years old
- Orphans adopted abroad
Grandparents, uncles, aunts, in-laws, and cousins generally cannot be sponsored.
The first step is a family visa petition (I-130) that establishes the familial relationship between the foreign national and the U.S. citizen or LPR. Then, the foreign national can seek LPR status.
Many of those looking to immigrate to the U.S. have compelling stories about their journey. Those stories often involve accounts of escaping abuse, crime, and mistreatment in other countries with the goal of leading safe, happy, and peaceful lives in the U.S.—free from persecution and violence.
The asylum process in the U.S. is complicated, and applicants must show that they have been persecuted in their home country on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.
Religious Workers and Other Special Immigrants
Foreign religious workers may be sponsored by nonprofit religious organizations in the U.S. This classification is meant for immigrants working in a professional capacity at a religious denomination, such as ministers, priests, clergy members, youth workers, or religious educators, who want to live and work permanently in the U.S. for that organization.
Contact an Attorney Today
Scott D. Pollock is the grandson of immigrants, and he’s keenly aware that people are coming to the U.S. for the same reason they did: to make a better life for themselves and their family.
At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, we provide both individuals and employers with the high-quality and affordable representation they need to navigate the tangled web of obstacles and pitfalls that is the American immigration system.
Our attorneys have over seven decades of combined experience in U.S. immigration law. We’ve helped guide numerous clients through the complicated process of gaining immigrant visas in the U.S.
Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.