California Green Card & Work Visa Lawyer
Immigrants who came to work in the United States under specific visa programs may find that they have a path to permanent residency, also known as a Green Card. While not available to all immigrants, the few on a direct path to permanent residency can do so once they have met the requirements and completed the application process.
Obtaining a green card can quickly become a complicated process since it requires many rules to be followed and documents to be provided to USCIS for processing and evaluation. Navigating the process can be difficult, so hiring a California green card and work visa lawyer is the best way to help you throughout the application while maximizing your chances of successful approval.
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law helped many acquire their green card after immigrating to contribute to the U.S. workforce. Our California green card and work visa lawyers will provide a confidential and no-obligation case review to discuss obtaining a green card or employment authorization. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
How a California Green Card and Work Visa Attorney Helps
Best known as a Green Card, immigrants who have spent time working in the United States may find that they can be approved for permanent residency. While working with a green card and work visa lawyer is not required, many find it more beneficial than not when there is a chance for a complication.
Verifying Requirements for a Green Card
There are several ways to find the opportunity to receive permanent residency in the United States. A green card and work visa lawyer will analyze a case to see if the applicant qualifies under the required criteria.
These are the ways an immigrant can find their way to permanent residency:
- Family relationships
- Status of being a victim of human trafficking, crime, or abuse
- Those claiming asylum or refugee status
- Other programs are available, like participating in certain STEM field positions as a student, researcher, professor, or another professional.
Note that all applicants must be considered admissible to the U.S.
Foreigners who are inadmissible are likely facing criminal charges, are at risk of becoming a ward of the state, have a prior history of illegal status or deportation, or suffer from a disorder that causes erratic behavior and threatens the property or safety of others.
Applying for a Green Card
For a green card, the applicant must complete and file Form I-485. This is for those still working in the United States and applying while residing here. Filing this form will start the process of adjusting an applicant’s status.
Green Card Categories
When the United States Customs and Immigration Service looks at applicants on a work visa who are requesting a green card, they divide them between a few different statuses:
- First Preference, EB-1
- Second Preference, EB-2
- Third Preference, EB-3
Each preference represents a group of applicants meeting the criteria of a different line of work in the States, as described below.
First Preference, EB-1 — Priority Workers
This group holds a work visa tied directly to more complex fields of work, like medicine, education, science, arts, business, or athletics. Often, they are researchers or professors that have received recognition from their native country or industry business leaders who have shown an extraordinary ability that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find in the U.S. workforce.
When submitting their application, these workers must present all evidence of their accomplishments, including any member associations, diplomas, research, published articles, certifications, and more. Upon submission, these workers must present all evidence of their accomplishments, including member associations, diplomas, research, published articles, certifications, and more.
Second Preference, EB-2 — Families of Priority Workers
Second preference, EB-2 candidates can receive this status for legal employment if they are a family member of someone in the first preference. Their family member must be able to prove that they qualify for first preference with submitted documents showing their advanced education and exceptional abilities.
Third Preference, EB-3 — Other Skilled Workers
Lastly, the third preference is reserved for skilled workers outside the first priority qualification. These workers are not considered to have extraordinary abilities or advanced degrees.
All third preference candidates must have a labor certification and a permanent full-time job offer ready before submitting their application to remain in the States permanently.
Skilled workers must have proven their competency through two years or more of consistent job experience in their field. They must also have completed any required training and education to perform their job successfully.
Other professionals who can neither prove an exceptional ability nor carry an advanced degree may fall into the third preference category. These workers must show that they have at least a bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent, which is required of them to qualify as a professional in their field of work.
In addition, they must currently be working within their declared industry, and their sponsor must show that there are no willing or available U.S. workers to perform their role.
Unskilled workers are the last type of candidate that can qualify for third preference. Like the others, they must show they have the education, training, and skills to successfully perform their job.
All candidates must be able to complete the application process, which starts with submitting a copy of Form I-140. In addition, their employer will need to demonstrate how an American worker cannot fill the role because there is a shortage of skillset or lack of interest in occupying the given position.
Granting Permanent Resident Status to Family Members With Help From a California Green Card & Work Visa Lawyer
If a person is granted permanent residency, they can claim their spouse and their children so long as any child in question is under 21 and unmarried. The U.S. permanent resident must file as a petitioner for their family members after being given their green card.
There are a few visa programs that allow for a spouse to enter the united states legally. On the other hand, children under 21 go through a different process, where they can qualify for permanent residency through their parents.
A child is defined as a person who is at least one of the following:
- Born in wedlock.
- Born out of wedlock but recognized by a U.S. citizen.
- A step-child, with the parents’ marriage occurring before their eighteenth birthday.
- A child adopted before 16 years old under the custody of the petitioning family for at least two years
- A child conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technology (surrogate)
Visa Status for Family Members Before Applying for Permanent Residency
Before receiving an updated legal status through the applicant, the spouse and any children will be under different visa statuses based on the applicant’s applicant’s preference level.
- First preference, EB-1 holders — A spouse will be under an E-14 visa and any children under an E-15 visa.
- Second preference, EB-2 holders — A spouse will be under an E-21 visa and any children under an E-22 visa.
- Third preference, EB-3 holders — A spouse will be under an E-34 visa (if the applicant is a skilled worker or professional) or EW-4 (if the applicant is considered an unskilled worker), and any children under an E-35 visa (if the applicant is a skilled worker or professional) or EW-5 (if the applicant is considered an unskilled worker).
Once permanent residency is approved for their petitioner, the spouse and child can seek to receive permanent residency and obtain their green card.
Permanent Residency Is a Real Possibility: Call Your California Green Card & Work Visa Attorney
Our immigration lawyers have years of experience helping people become permanent residents and reunite with their families on U.S. soil. While lawful permanent resident status isn’t available to everyone, it can be obtained by certain individuals who prove they have meaningful connections to their community — either through their family living here or the work they contribute within their industry.
If you are interested in obtaining a green card for yourself and your family and possible employment authorization documents (EADs), reach out to our offices now. Call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law at Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office.