People who want to move to the United States have to decide what category they fall into. Many immigrants come with a temporary visa. The temporary visa lets them go to college or work until the visa expires. Temporary visas are also issued for tourists, exchange students and special categories of workers. After living here for a while, many immigrants try to find a path to permanent residency. That means the person receives a green card which lets them live in the U.S., work and travel in and out. The green card is also the first step to becoming a U.S. Citizen.
Immigrants who are applying for permanent residency may need the services of an Immigration Attorney. The Bell Law Office is very experienced in handling these cases. There are many applications and forms to be completed. If someone answers one of the questions incorrectly, their chances for permanency may be derailed. One of the easiest ways to apply is to have an immediate relative sponsor. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) considers immediate relatives to include:
- spouses of U.S. citizens
- unmarried people under age 21 with at least one parent who is a U.S. Citizen
- parents of U.S. citizens
- stepchildren and stepparents of U.S. citizens
- adopted children of U.S. citizens, if the adoption took place before age 16
Immigrants may need an attorney if they are considered inadmissible to the U.S. People who fall into this category may have a communicable disease like tuberculosis or a condition that may cause harm to themselves or others. Further, drug abusers and drug traffickers are not allowed.
Other inadmissible categories include multiple criminal convictions and those who’ve violated immigration laws before. An attorney may be able to challenge the status if it is incorrect. People who have a green card must wait five years before applying for U.S. citizenship. Eligible persons should complete a form N-400. After several months, the applicant will have a fingerprint appointment and an interview appointment.
At the interview, one should have a firm grasp of English and U.S. History. If all goes well, they’ll receive an appointment for a citizenship swearing-in ceremony. Immigration is complicated and people should hire an Immigration Attorney like Bell Law Office to help with the process.