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Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident Status (LPR) And Getting A Green Card

The immigration laws in the United States not only are confusing but also can be antiquated. At Wilson Law Group in Minneapolis, we help clients who are applying for green cards, or lawful permanent residency status. Founded in 2003, we take an innovative approach and offer creative solutions to the bureaucracy of immigration challenges.

Who Is Eligible For Lawful Permanent Residency And A Green Card?

There are several ways to qualify for legal entry into the United States and obtain lawful residency status. These include:

  • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens
  • Immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents
  • Employees with sponsorship from a U.S. company
  • Refugees and asylum seekers

Family-based immigration petitions require that a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member sponsor the foreign national applicant’s petition. Our immigration attorneys can help you or your family assess the most efficient means of obtaining an immigrant visa.

Who Makes The Decision About Who Qualifies For An Immigrant Visa?

The Department of State (USDOS) – and not USCIS – makes the final decision whether someone qualifies for an immigrant visa. In assessing eligibility, the USDOS will evaluate whether the foreign national is admissible to the United States, taking into consideration any possible grounds for inadmissibility.

Grounds Of Inadmissibility That Can Prevent Permanent Resident Status

There are more than thirty grounds of inadmissibility that can bar someone from permanent residency. Some of the more common grounds for inadmissibility include having a history of criminal activity, health concerns like having a communicable disease, or a history of having helped someone illegally enter the U.S. Some of the grounds of inadmissibility are waivable, while others are not. An experienced immigration attorney can help you understand if you might be ineligible or inadmissible for some reason and if so, if an applicable waiver is available.

What Is Consular Processing?

Consular processing generally refers to the process of applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain permanent residency (green card).

The process involves many steps, which generally (but not always) begins with the filing of an I-130 visa petition with the appropriate office of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. Once approved, the matter is forwarded to the National Visa Center for payment of fees and filing of various forms and documents for the immigrant visa application. The National Visa Center then typically schedules a final immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship After Achieving Permanent Residence Status

Becoming a U.S. citizen is the end goal for many lawful permanent residents or Green Card holders. Once you get a permanent residence status, you are on the path to achieving full citizenship. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you understand the eligibility criteria and steps involved in achieving permanent residence.

What Is The Process Of Naturalization?

The process of obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization involves the following steps:

  • Eligibility check: Includes being a lawful resident (Green Card holder) and 18 years old.
  • Continuous residency: The applicant must have lived in the United States for at least five years without leaving for extended periods. However, the residency requirement may be shorter for spouses of U.S. citizens or military service members.
  • Good moral character: The applicant must demonstrate good moral character during the five years preceding their application.
  • Language and civics test: An applicant must demonstrate proficiency in English by passing a reading, writing and speaking test. Also, they must demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government by passing a civics test.
  • Application process: This begins with filing Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An applicant must submit the required documents and the application fee along with the application.
  • Interview and examination: After reviewing the application, USCIS will schedule an interview where the applicant will be required to answer questions about their background.
  • Oath ceremony: If the application is approved, there will be an oath ceremony where the applicant will take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Officially, the ceremony makes them U.S. citizens.

Obtaining U.S. citizenship through naturalization is a major achievement. It’s best to seek the services of a green card attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as they are well-equipped to advise you on citizenship and naturalization matters.

Consult With An Immigration Attorney For Free

Our firm offers free initial consultations. Our attorneys can advise you on the best options for your petition for lawful permanent residency status and assess any potential challenges for approval. Contact our office at 612-430-8022 or send an inquiry through our website to schedule your free appointment.