personal injury lawyer logo for ssd law firm pc

SSD Law Firm PC

Green Card Lawyer Alabama

Attorney Dhanjan in front of court

Things to Know Now

Attorney Dhanjan in front of court

Does a Loved One Need Immigration Help in the Alabama area?

Alabama is a state with a population of approximately 5143033 people. Many people in Alabama are illegal but can get their Green Cards with a little assistance. Our law firm can help with all types of Green Card cases in the Alabama area. Additionally, we can also assist you with Green Cards throughout every state in America.

From Application to Approval: Green Card Processing Times

The timeframe to obtain a green card after applying varies significantly based on several factors, including the type of visa, the applicant’s country of origin, and the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, the process can take anywhere from several months to several years.

Family-Based Green Cards

For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21), the process is typically faster, often taking about 10 to 16 months. However, for other family-sponsored categories, such as siblings of U.S. citizens or married children, the wait can be much longer due to annual visa caps and high demand, sometimes extending to several years.

Employment-Based Green Cards

The processing time for employment-based green cards also varies. Categories such as EB-1 (priority workers) usually have shorter wait times, often between 8 months to 1.5 years. In contrast, EB-3 (skilled workers) and EB-2 (professionals with advanced degrees) may face longer processing times, particularly if the applicant is from a country with high demand, such as India or China, where it can take several years.

Asylum or Refugee Green Cards

Applicants who have been granted asylum or refugee status can apply for a green card one year after their entry or status grant. The processing time for these applications typically ranges from 8 months to 2 years.

Diversity Visa Lottery

Winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery must complete their green card process within the fiscal year they are selected, which generally spans about one year.Overall, while the timeframe to get a green card can vary widely, applicants should prepare for a potentially lengthy process and seek guidance from our legal professionals to navigate the complexities involved.

What is Adjustment of Status in Alabama?

A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), often called a “green card” holder, is an individual who has been granted the privilege to live and work in the United States permanently. This status allows the person to reside in the U.S., seek employment, and travel internationally, albeit with certain restrictions. LPRs must adhere to specific rules to maintain their status.Lawful Permanent Resident status is obtained one of two routes: either Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status. Consular Processing involves doing your immigration interview with an immigration officer from America while in another country abroad. Adjustment of Status on the other hand involves doing your immigration interview in the United States, usually without ever leaving the U.S..One of the significant advantages of being an LPR is the ability to work without needing employer sponsorship, which provides greater flexibility in job opportunities. Additionally, LPRs can travel outside the U.S. and re-enter, though extended absences may affect their residency status. It is crucial for LPRs to avoid actions that could jeopardize their status, such as committing certain crimes or failing to notify USCIS of a change of address.Moreover, LPRs have the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting particular requirements, including continuous residence in the U.S. for a specified period, demonstrating good moral character, and passing English and civics tests. Becoming a U.S. citizen provides additional benefits, such as the right to vote and protection from deportation.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Green Card in Alabama?

The immigration fees for Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) are essential costs to consider when applying for a green card.

Form I-485

The filing fee for Form I-485 varies based on the applicant’s age and circumstances. As of this writing:-For applicants aged 14 to 78, the fee is $1,440.-For applicants under 14, filing with at least one parent’s application, the fee is $950.-For applicants over 78, the fee is $1,440, as they are exempt from the biometric fee.-Refugees are exempt from the fee when adjusting status.

Form I-130

The filing fee for Form I-130 is $675 for paper filing and $625 for online filing. This form is used by U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to establish their relationship to certain family members who wish to immigrate to the U.S.These fees are subject to change, so it’s important to check the latest updates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website before filing.

Can You Travel Abroad While Your Green Card Application is Pending?

Traveling abroad while your green card application is pending can be complex and requires careful planning. Here’s a detailed overview of what you need to know and the steps to take:

Understanding the Travel Restrictions

  1. Advance Parole Requirement: Generally, if you leave the U.S. while your green card application (Form I-485) is pending, your application may be considered abandoned unless you have obtained Advance Parole. Advance Parole is a travel document that allows you to re-enter the U.S. without jeopardizing your pending green card application.
  2. Applying for Advance Parole: To secure this document, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with USCIS. It is advisable to submit Form I-131 simultaneously with your I-485 application to avoid delays. The processing time can vary, so plan accordingly.
  3. Emergency Travel: If an emergency necessitates travel before you obtain Advance Parole, consult with an immigration attorney. In some cases, it is possible to expedite the process by providing documentation of the emergency.

Practical Steps to Follow

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Confirm that you are eligible for Advance Parole. Certain applicants, such as those in removal proceedings or who have violated their immigration status, may face restrictions.
  2. Submit Form I-131: Fill out Form I-131 accurately and include supporting documents, such as a copy of your I-485 receipt notice, passport photos, and proof of the need to travel (if applicable).
  3. Await Approval: After submitting your application, wait for USCIS to process and approve it. Avoid making non-refundable travel arrangements until you have received your Advance Parole document.
  4. Travel with Documentation: If you receive Advance Parole, carry it along with your valid passport when traveling. Ensure you return to the U.S. within the validity period specified on the document.

Important Considerations

  • Non-immigrant Visa Holders: If you initially entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa (such as a tourist visa) and later applied for a green card, consult with a Green Card attorney to navigate potential issues related to intent and visa compliance.
  • Timelines and Deadlines: Be mindful of the timelines for both your Advance Parole application and your green card process. Missing deadlines or being abroad when USCIS requests additional information or schedules an interview could complicate your case.
  • Legal Advice: Given the complexities involved, seeking legal advice tailored to your specific situation can prevent potential pitfalls and ensure that you remain compliant with immigration laws.

By following these steps and understanding the underlying reasons, you can manage your travel plans without jeopardizing your green card application.

Is a Work Permit Necessary with a Green Card in Alabama?

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, allows individuals to work legally in the United States while their Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) is pending. Filing Form I-765 with your I-485 is highly beneficial, as it provides a means to earn a livelihood during the often lengthy green card application process.Submitting Form I-765 concurrently with your I-485 can expedite your ability to work legally, eliminating the need to wait for your green card approval to start employment. At the time of this writing, submitting the I-765 with your I-485 can also be done for free. Additionally, an approved I-765 grants you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which serves as proof of your legal right to work in the U.S. This can be crucial for maintaining financial stability and accessing job opportunities while your green card application is processed.In Alabama, utilizing local legal resources can help ensure your I-765 and I-485 applications are correctly completed and submitted, maximizing your chances of a smooth and successful adjustment process.

Is a Sponsor Required for Your Green Card Application in Alabama?

In an adjustment of status application, the sponsor plays a crucial role in supporting the applicant’s case for lawful permanent residency in the United States. The primary requirement for a sponsor is to provide a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, which demonstrates that they have the financial means to support the applicant and prevent them from becoming a public charge.

Key Requirements for a Sponsor

  • Legal Status: The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. This ensures that the sponsor has a stable legal presence in the United States.
  • Residency: The sponsor must be domiciled in the United States. This means they must have a principal residence in the U.S. and plan to maintain it as their permanent home.
  • Income Requirements: The sponsor must meet specific income criteria. They need to show that their household income is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size. This includes the sponsor, their dependents, and the intending immigrant. If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, they may use assets to meet the requirements or enlist a joint sponsor who can meet the income requirements independently.
  • Evidence of Income: The sponsor must provide evidence of their income and assets. This can include recent tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and employment verification letters.
  • Commitment: By signing the Affidavit of Support, the sponsor commits to financially supporting the intending immigrant until they either become a U.S. citizen or have worked 40 qualifying quarters under the Social Security Act.
  • Joint Sponsors: If the primary sponsor does not meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor can also submit a Form I-864. The joint sponsor must meet all the same requirements independently and demonstrate sufficient income or assets.

Top Benefits of Getting a Green Card in Alabama

Obtaining a green card provides numerous benefits:

Live and Work in the USA

Green card holders can live and work permanently in the United States without the need for special permits or visas. This stability allows for long-term employment opportunities and the ability to establish roots in the community.

Social Security Card and Benefits

Green card holders are also eligible for social security benefits and can apply for state and federal aid programs.

Own Property and Bring Family Members to the US

They have the right to own property and can sponsor certain family members for their own permanent resident status, promoting family reunification.

Travel Outside the US

Green card holders can travel more freely in and out of the U.S., though extended absences may affect their status.

Path to Citizenship

Green card holders have a clear pathway to U.S. citizenship. After meeting the residency requirements, they can apply for naturalization, which grants the full benefits of U.S. citizenship, including the right to vote and protection against deportation.

injury and immigration attorney dhanjan

Contact our Alabama Green Card Lawyers Immediately

SSD Law Firm PC stands out as your go-to immigration attorneys in Alabama, offering strategic legal guidance and support. Our Green Card immigration lawyers are dedicated to providing a seamless experience with a free consultation and thorough case evaluation tailored to your needs and within your own language (English, Espanol, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Lao). We understand the nuances of immigration law and are committed to helping you achieve your American dream with clear, informed, and compassionate legal representation. To get your case started, contact our Green Card Lawyer Alabama Department now.