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All Green Card applicants, who receive their medical examination from either a Panel Physician or a Civil Surgeon on or after October 1, 2021, will need to show evidence of vaccination for COVID-19, or provide a valid reason why they should not be held to the new requirement. See Full Details

Immigration Visas / Green Cards

Chicago Immigration Visas and Green Cards

Visas are documents that give an individual permission to enter the United States. There are two types of visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant. Immigrant visas allow applicants to become permanent residents as soon as they enter the U.S. “Green card” is a term used for the plastic photo identification card that verifies your status as a permanent resident, which means you are allowed to work and live in the U.S. permanently, unless the government withdraws that access.

Do I Need A Green Card Lawyer?

Once granted a green card, you are allowed to freely function within the rules of your visa until it expires. However, the path to obtaining a green card is a strenuous one.  While you are technically allowed to apply for a green card without the help of an attorney, navigating immigration laws alone can be troublesome.

Each type of visa has a variety of paperwork with different costs and places to send each document. A small error in paperwork, unintentional misinformation, or missing evidence can be devastating. A green card lawyer with experience in immigration and nationality law will be able to catch any mistakes, organize information, and work in a timely manner because of their knowledge and experience.

If you are wondering whether you need an immigration lawyer to obtain your green card, consider the amount of time and attention it would take to seek a green card, especially if this is your first time petitioning. A green card attorney can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with the process of applying for the green card. You don’t have to go through this process alone, and most people who choose to work with a green card lawyer are happy they did.

Why Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer for A Green Card, Can’t I Do It by Myself?

There are applicants that have succeeded when petitioning a green card without the help of a lawyer, but the process is not easy—even with the assistance of green card lawyers. Working with a lawyer on your green card visa application will benefit you. You know yourself best, so providing information that is needed as evidence to your lawyer can make the process of filing forms much smoother. You can provide the knowledge while your green card lawyer can provide their experience and deep understanding of the nuances of immigration law.

While immigration forms may seem straightforward at first glance, the rules and expectations around forms, evidence, and payments are complex. Because immigration lawyers are more exposed to this process, they have a better understanding of how best to serve you.

The U.S. government is also notorious for time delays and for mixing up paperwork. It is best to have an immigration lawyer by your side when the government requests unexpected paperwork.

If you are considered inadmissible, it is in your best interests to work with an immigration lawyer to obtain your green card. In order to convince the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you belong in the United States, it will be much more difficult if you are convicted of an inadmissible crime or have certain health conditions.

If you plan to apply for a visa on your own, make sure that everything is filed correctly. If you file your petition incorrectly, you risk the chance of becoming inadmissible when applying for future visas.

Why Is Applying for a Visa So Challenging Without a Green Card Immigration Lawyer?

Working with immigration lawyers for a U.S. green card is important if you have legal questions, are wondering about forms or specific evidence, or need to talk to someone in the government about your specific case. A green card immigration lawyer is able to negotiate contact with immigration bureau and help you with legal needs that arise.

The application process for a green card can have many obstacles. Contacting the government to address those obstacles will take hours of your time with very little productive outcome.

Immigration and citizenship law in the United States is extremely difficult to understand. The law is not always on your side when seeking entry into the United States. It is true that immigration benefits its applicants in many ways and is used for the benefit of the United States and immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers. However, immigration law was also created for the benefit of United States security. This means that although you may be a great asset to the United States or are in need of aid, the U.S. government may see you as an economic or security risk.

An attorney for green card processing can help present your case so that the U.S. government sees your relationship with the United States as mutually beneficial.

Do I Need A Lawyer for a Green Card Through Marriage?

Coming to the United States through marriage can be done through family sponsorships or through a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. U.S. Immigration law does not require you to have a lawyer represent you for a green card. If you are already married, then the person who is already a U.S. citizen will petition for their partner. If this is the case, you must fill out three forms for a marriage green card.

Your green card through family sponsorship may be straightforward. It may still be beneficial for a green card lawyer to look over all of your forms. Though marriage visas may seem direct, there is hardly an immigration petition that looks the same from case to case. A second pair of eyes from an immigration lawyer that has experience with marriage, family sponsorship, and fiancé(e) visas can help you avoid challenges that may arise.

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.

Learn More About Adjustment of Status

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.

Find Out More About the Appeals Process

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.

Learn More About Becoming A U.S. Citizen

Consular Processing

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.

What is Consular Processing?

Employment-Based Immigration

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.

Learn More About Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-Creation Visas

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.

Family Sponsorship

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.:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21 years old
  • Orphans adopted abroad
  • Parents

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.

Learn More About Family Sponsorship

Political Asylum

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.

What is Political Asylum?

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.

What Are Religious Workers and Other Special Immigrants?

Green Card Lawyers Near Me

If you are looking for a green card lawyer in the Chicago area, the attorney office of Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. is located at 105 West Madison, Suite 2200 Chicago, IL 60602. If you are looking for immigration lawyers for U.S. green cards that you can meet face to face, we are happy to meet in person to discuss your case. If you live outside of the Chicago area and still have questions about your green card, we are available for phone and video calls. We are here for you no matter where you live, either in the United States or abroad.

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.

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