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Immigration law: Obtaining green card a complex process

Living in New York as an immigrant while lacking the proper paperwork can understandably be unsettling. This is especially true in the current political environment, where there is a push for restrictive enforcement of immigration law. However, it is possible for immigrants to obtain legal permanent resident status, otherwise known as a green card.

First, immigrants interested in becoming permanent residents can apply for their green cards if they have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or U.S. spouses. U.S. spouses, parents or children over 21 years of age can help them to quality. In addition, those who have job offers that require special skills or training/education to complete these roles may apply, too.

For those who have U.S. spouses and came with visas, they can expect to receive permission to go to work in about 2.5 months, as well as permanent residence in a time period of between six and nine months. During their interviews, they will have to prove their marriage was entered into in good faith. Those who have U.S. sons or daughters over 21 and came to the United States with visas can expect their processes to take about six months.

The process of obtaining a green card in the United States, including in New York, can be overwhelming due to the many steps and criteria involved. In addition, no two families' situations are alike, so a one-size-fits-all approach does not exist when it comes to pursuing permanent residence. An immigration law attorney can help with navigating the green card process and ensuring that one's rights are protected each step of the way.

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