1. Apply for a Green Card with Green Card Lawyer [New Jersey and any USA State]

If you would like to apply for lawful permanent residency in the United States, you must obtain a “green card.” Once you are a lawful permanent resident, eventually, you can become a United States citizens. There are different ways to obtain the green card, such as through family, employment, among various other statuses. By far, the most common pathway to get a green card is through family. The way this happens is that someone in your family, who is already a United States citizen or lawful permanent residence, “sponsors” you, the intending immigrant. Your family sponsor and you will need to fill-out a number of different forms and submit them to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing, in addition to a medical exam and potentially in-person interview. Mr. Stavola can assist you with this family-based green card process by:

  • Assessing you or your family members’ eligibility for a green card
  • Correct application preparation, filing, and submission
  • Address any problems that arise in your application process, such as USCIS’ requests for additional evidence
  • Minimize risk of errors in the application process
  • Guide, advise, and prepare you for any interview

2. How the Family-Based Green Card Process Works

The first step is identifying a family member/relative who can serve as your “sponsor” for the green card process (the process to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States). The USCIS has created different “preference categories” of family based green card applicants, and depending upon which category you fall into, your processing time (the time it takes to get the green card) will vary.

For example, the “best” category is “Immediate Relative” = if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, if you are a parent of a U.S. citizen, or if you are a child (under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen, then you fall into the immediate relative category. This category has the fastest processing times. The average time to get a green card for someone in this category is about one-year, but can be as little as a few months.

The other categories are:

  • First preference: unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens
  • Second preference: spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents
  • Third preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth preference: brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizens is 21 years of age and older)

The information requested on the forms required for submittal generally include biographical information about yourself and your sponsor, addresses at which you and your sponsor live and have lived over the past several years, you and your sponsor’s employment histories, and other information showing and proving the relationship between you and your sponsor. This evidence will be submitted as a supplement to the applications, and may include birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, photographs, among various other pieces of evidence. One of the forms that is required for submittal is called an “Affidavit of Support” which is basically a contract between you and the U.S. government, saying that you will not be a financial liability for the U.S. during the time it takes for you to become a full U.S. citizen. Mr. Stavola can assist you in gathering the evidence required for this form and others.

3. How Long Will it Take to Become a U.S. Citizen After the Green Card is Obtained?

Generally, a green card is valid for 10-years and can be renewed indefinitely if you are in good standing. If you obtain your green card through marriage to your spouse, and the marriage was less than 2 years old at the time of the green card grant, then the green card is “conditional” and will need to be renewed in 2 years to convert it to permanent. You do this refiling before the 2-year mark has arrived.

Green card holders can typically apply for U.S. citizenship 5-years after getting their green card. However, if you are married to a U.S. citizen, then you can apply for U.S. citizenship 3-years after getting your green card. Your U.S. citizen spouse must have been living continuously in the U.S. for the 3 years before submitting your U.S. citizenship application.

4. Call or Text at 732-539-7244

If you are interested in obtaining a green card through a family member (immediate relative, or one of the preference categories above), please contact Mr. Stavola. He will make certain to organize your application package correctly, ensure the accuracy of all the forms, and advise you through the green card process.