Houston Green Card Lawyers
Holding a green card is an important status for those who are involved in the United States immigration process. Once a person has obtained their green card, this means that they can remain in the United States legally for as long as they want and permanently if they choose to do so. A green card is essentially the closest step in the immigration system to becoming a full United States citizen, with most of the same rights and privileges. It is also easier for a person to become a citizen once they have obtained their green card. However, not everyone who applies for a green card will receive one, and the process to get a green card can often be lengthy and confusing. There are also situations where the government can revoke a green card that was issued in the past if the person violates the law or abandons the United States for an extended period of time.
Green card lawyers in Houston can provide a number of forms of assistance to those who need to remain in the United States as a lawful permanent residents. Here are a few important factors to keep in mind when attempting to obtain a green card.
The application to obtain a green card
One of the most important aspects of meeting with a green card attorney in Houston is to discuss and file a green card application. This document allows the U.S. government to start the process of giving the applicant their green card and permanent residency status. The Houston green card lawyer will need to determine the person’s eligibility, then if they meet all the relevant criteria, a Form I-485 can be filed. The relevant statutes for eligibility include green cards based on employment, a diversity visa, whether the person has family members who can sponsor them, or if they are seeking asylum as a political refugee. The applicant will also need to prove their identity and certain other important details. This is usually done with things like a birth or marriage certificate, along with other forms of identification. The application itself also needs to be completed carefully with legal advice. An application with omissions or mistakes will be rejected and need to be refiled after it has been corrected. The complete application packages include Form I-485, supporting documents, the filing fee, biometrics such as fingerprints, and a signed affidavit which certifies that the information contained in the application is true.
These are some of the criteria that must be met to apply for U.S. citizenship. There are circumstances where individuals may be able to obtain waivers for certain criteria if the criteria are contrary to religious beliefs. The path to citizenship available to you will depend largely on your permanent resident status.
If you have questions about how you can begin to apply for U.S. citizenship, reach out to the citizenship lawyers in Houston, Texas at the Fonseca Law Firm. Our lawyers can review your situation and assist you with the application process. We are here for you.
Call 713-534-2873 to schedule a consultation. Immigration rules and laws serve a very important purpose for the country. Fonseca Law Firm provides legal help to its clients to comply with all of the relevant rules and regulations.
Interview with USCIS
The green card lawyer in Houston can also help the applicant prepare for their interview with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). While the interview is not always required, those who are in the United States on an employment visa or through family sponsorship are most likely to have an interview with a government agent. If the interview is mandatory, the applicant will receive notice of the interview location and time from the government once their application is processed. In order to prepare for the interview, the applicant should speak with their Houston green card attorney and be familiar with all of the information contained in their application package. Being organized can help the interview go quickly and avoid any unnecessary delays. The attorney may also be present during the interview. The main purpose of the interview is to address security concerns such as the legitimacy of the person’s identity and marriage if applicable. If the government believes that the application contains any fraudulent statements or documents, the person’s green card can be revoked, even if this is discovered at a later time. Forms of identification may also be used to check the person’s identity. Applicants may also have to take a test that demonstrates civics knowledge related to the United States and proficiency in the English language after the interview.
After a green card application has been approved
Those who have applied with the assistance of their Houston green card attorney should be mindful of certain important steps following the application process. This includes maintaining the correct address on file with the government, ensuring that the green card is actually received in the mail, and ensuring that taxes are filed as required. There may also be restrictions on the amount of time that a green card holder can spend abroad if they want to maintain their lawful permanent residence status. When green card holder wants to surrender their residency status if they are moving to another country, they can notify the government and turn in their green card. These potential issues transition into the possible reasons that a person may lose a green card after it is obtained.
Appealing the denial of a green card application
Houston green card attorneys can also help those who have applied for a green card but had their application denied for various reasons. However, like many other legal processes, appealing a denial of a green card can be complex, and the specific skills of a green card lawyer in Houston are often required. A specific form called I-290B needs to be filed to start the appeal process.
One of the main reasons that an appeal is filed for a green card application is if the government has made some kind of processing mistake. In some cases, fixing the mistake may be all that the applicant needs for approval. When a person has additional supporting documentation, they may also be able to have their application reconsidered without the formalities of an appeal process. This can be an important way for those who forgot certain documents in the original application to have another chance for approval. Finally, a decision can be formally appealed through the U.S. court system with the help of Houston green card attorneys. This tends to be the most complex and lengthy process, as the applicant needs to file a lawsuit against the federal government stating the specific reason that the case is being brought, which can require multiple court hearings.
Is it possible to lose your permanent residency after it is issued by the government?
A person who has been issued a green card can potentially lose their permanent residence status in some situations. It is always important for anyone who has a green card to be aware of these potential issues so that they can maintain their status as a legal resident. Houston green card lawyers can help people who are concerned about losing their residency status for any reason.
Green cards are good for ten years after they are issued, then they need to be renewed. Spending too much time abroad is another problem many green card holders run into. If a person has been outside of the United States for an extended period of time, it is likely that the government will consider them to no longer be a resident due to abandoning their status. Criminal offenses can have serious immigration consequences as well. If a person is convicted of certain crimes that the government considers a deportable crime, they will probably lose their green card and may even be deported from the country entirely. A green card holder who faces criminal charges should be sure to get legal advice that covers both their criminal case and any related immigration consequences. Those who know that they will leave the country can also choose to voluntarily surrender a green card to the federal government. Immigration officials provide Form I-407 for this purpose.
There are a number of different things that a lawyer can do at these times to help a person secure and maintain their green card and legal resident status. At the outset, an attorney can review a person’s situation and determine how they should proceed with their application, as well as any other steps that may need to be completed to be successful in becoming a permanent resident. Houston green card lawyers can also represent an individual who is having problems with their application or other parts of the process to obtain a green card. Their advice can help the person remedy any of these problems and move forward with the process for residency and citizenship.
Green card attorneys in Houston can provide additional info
There is much more information available about the purpose of a green card and how people navigating the immigration process can apply for one. The Fonseca Law Firm is a trusted immigration practice that can provide more information about green cards and all related matters in the Houston area.