A green card identifies you as a permanent resident of the United States. While green card holders aren’t U.S. citizens, they do have the legal right to permanently live and work in the U.S. and are protected by its laws. You must have your green card/permanent resident status before beginning the naturalization process for citizenship.
There are many routes to acquiring a green card, from having a relative or U.S. employer petition on your behalf to filing for yourself as a refugee or asylum seeker. At Dozier Miller, we will take the time to learn your unique situation and advise you as to the best course of action for you. Our experts can help with everything from filing your petitions to appealing denials or directing your next steps once you are approved. Together, we can work to achieve your dream of living in the United States.
The consular process is commonly used to obtain a green cards. The process is complicated and tedious, but with a Dozier Miller immigration lawyer on your side, you can be assured it will go smoothly.
Filing a petition – The process begins with filing an immigration petition. There are several options for filing an immigration petition, but the most common methods involve a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative or U.S. employer filing a petition on behalf of the immigrant. Our expert immigration team can assist with your petition to help ensure your petition is correct, complete and filed with the proper offices.
Petition approval – Once a petition is approved, it is sent to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. Waiting is never easy, but your Dozier Miller team will keep you updated on status changes and start working on the final steps so you’re ready to finish when your visa becomes available.
Getting your visa – Once a visa becomes available, the U.S. Department of State Consulate will schedule a visa interview with you. We’ll prepare you to succeed in this interview. If the consular office grants your immigrant visa, they’ll give you a visa packet. Do not open the packet.
Traveling to the U.S. – The final step of the process is actually coming to the U.S. You will present your visa packet to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the Port of Entry. They’ll inspect you and give final approval for admission as a permanent resident. Your green card will arrive by mail within a few weeks.
Our experienced team will track your petition’s progress and keep you informed of what to expect along the way. Even if you encounter delays or denials, we’ll work with you on appeals and alternate options.
If you are denied an immigrant visa because you’re deemed “inadmissible” to the U.S., you have options. When informed of a denial, you’ll also be told why you are inadmissible — it may be related to your health, past criminal charges or other grounds. You have the option to file for a waiver of those grounds that make you inadmissible. We will help you prepare the waiver that suits your case and properly file it with appropriate supporting documents. We understand the forms don’t tell your whole story, and we will do everything in our power to make sure the USCIS appreciates your unique circumstances.
In cases of immediate family members of U.S. citizens (spouses, children and parents), a provisional waiver may be necessary to help ease the process and keep the family together as much as possible. If you are in the U.S. without documentation (“unlawful presence”) when you file a petition for your visa through the consular process, you may have to travel abroad for your immigration interview. To avoid being deemed inadmissible due to unlawful presence, you may qualify to file a provisional waiver.
To help this process run as smoothly as possible, we highly recommend consulting a provisional waiver expert. The team at Dozier Miller has extensive experience in helping families through this particular process. We will guide you through the requirements, procedures and timing to ensure your waiver is approved as soon as possible so your visa is not delayed and you are not stranded outside of the country.
If you weren’t born in the U.S. or born abroad to U.S. citizens, you must complete the naturalization process to acquire U.S. citizenship. Our citizenship and naturalization team are experts in helping immigrants navigate the complicated forms and applications involved.
One of the reasons people are turned away at ports of entry is an incorrect or invalid visa. It’s absolutely critical to understand what type of visa you need and to ensure your visa is current. Due to the complexities of applying for a visa, an attorney specializing in visas is essential.
It requires an experienced and relentless deportation defense attorney to avoid deportation and find relief from removal. At Dozier Miller, we have decades of experience defending and guiding clients. We will be by your side.
Not matter what field you’re in or how long you plan to stay, all foreign workers must first obtain permission to lawfully work in the U.S. There are several different classes and categories of work permits (or work-related visas), and each class has its own application process and requirements. We’re familiar with them all and can help guide you.
Fill this form out to schedule a legal consultation. The attorneys at Dozier Miller Law Group value taking the time to thoroughly discuss your unique legal challenges. Our lawyers represent many areas of expertise, but if we don’t have the service you need, we’ll help you find an expert whose skills match your situation.