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SSD Law Firm PC

Green Card Lawyer Louisiana

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Things to Know Now

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Do You Need Immigration Help in the Louisiana area?

Louisiana is a state with a population of approximately 4559475 people. Many people in Louisiana 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 Louisiana area. Additionally, we can also assist you with Green Cards throughout every state in America.

Top Benefits of Getting a Green Card in Louisiana

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.

Understanding the Validity Period of Your Green Card

Unconditional Green Card = 10 Years

A green card is typically valid for 10 years. For most lawful permanent residents (LPRs), this 10-year validity period applies, and they must renew their green card before it expires to maintain their status. The renewal process involves filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, which can be done online or via mail. It’s recommended to start the renewal process about six months before the card’s expiration date to avoid any lapse in status.

Conditional Green Card = 2 Years

Conditional green cards, issued to certain individuals such as those who obtained their status through marriage or as entrepreneurs, are valid for only 2 years. Conditional residents must apply to remove the conditions on their residency by filing Form I-751 (for marriage-based conditional residents) or Form I-829 (for investor-based conditional residents) within the 90-day period before their card expires. Upon approval, they receive a regular (unconditional) 10-year green card.

Validity

It’s crucial for green card holders to keep their card valid, as it serves as proof of their lawful status in the United States. An expired green card can cause complications with employment, travel, and obtaining benefits. Green card holders must also ensure their information is up to date with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to avoid any issues with their permanent residency status.

What Happens During an Immigration Home Visit?

If Immigration Officers decide to do an in home inspection regarding your Green Card application, the following are your rights to keep yourself safe.

Right to Refuse Entry

Firstly, you have the right to refuse entry to immigration officers, unless they have a valid warrant signed by a judge. This warrant should specify your name and address. Ask the officers to slide the warrant under the door or show it through a window to verify its validity before allowing them inside.

Right to Remain Silent

You also have the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer questions or provide information without consulting with a Green Card lawyer. Politely inform the officers that you choose to exercise this right and request to speak with a Green Card lawyer.

Right to Legal Representation

You have the right to consult with a Green Card lawyer before answering any questions. If you do not have a Green Card attorney, you can find one through local legal aid organizations or immigration advocacy groups in Louisiana. A lawyer can provide guidance on how to interact with the officers and protect your rights.

Right to Privacy

Immigration officers cannot search your home without your consent unless they have a valid search warrant. If they do have a warrant, ensure it is specific to your situation and covers the areas they wish to search. If the warrant is not valid or specific, you can deny them access.

Document Everything

Document the encounter by noting the officers’ names, badge numbers, and the time and date of the visit. If possible, record the interaction, as this can be useful for legal proceedings if necessary.Understanding and asserting your rights during an immigration home investigation can help protect you and your family from potential legal complications.

Evidence Checklist: Applying for a Green Card in Louisiana

For an Adjustment of Status (AOS) to be successful, applicants must demonstrate bona fides, or good faith, in various aspects of their application. These are some of the key bona fides required:

Valid Entry and Continuous Residence

  • Proof of Lawful Entry: Applicants must provide evidence that they were lawfully admitted to the United States. This can include a visa stamp, Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), or other entry documentation.
  • Continuous Residence: Applicants must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the U.S. since their entry and during the required period preceding the application.

Eligibility Under an Immigration Category

  • Family-Based Petitions: If applying based on a family relationship, such as through a U.S. citizen spouse or parent, applicants must provide documentation of the relationship, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, or proof of a bona fide marriage. Evidence of a bona fide marriage can include joint bank accounts, leases, mortgages, and photographs.
  • Employment-Based Petitions: For employment-based applications, applicants need a job offer and an approved labor certification. Documentation might include an employment contract, employer’s letter, and evidence of qualifications or skills.
  • Other Categories: Applicants under other categories (e.g., asylees, refugees) must provide relevant documentation supporting their status and eligibility.

Good Moral Character

  • Criminal Background Checks: Applicants must undergo background checks and provide police records, demonstrating they have no serious criminal history.
  • Personal Conduct: Evidence of good moral character can include affidavits from employers, community leaders, or others who can vouch for the applicant’s integrity and behavior.

Medical Examination

  • Form I-693: Applicants must undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved doctor. The results, documented on Form I-693, must be submitted as part of the AOS application to show they meet health-related standards.

Financial Support

  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): For family-based applications, sponsors must submit an Affidavit of Support, proving they can financially support the applicant to prevent them from becoming a public charge. Evidence might include tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.

Immigration Status Documentation

  • Proof of Current Status: Applicants need to maintain valid non-immigrant status until their AOS application is filed. This includes providing documentation of current visas and any status changes.

Collecting and organizing these bona fides is crucial for a successful adjustment of status application. In Louisiana, our immigration attorneys can provide assistance in gathering the necessary documents and ensuring that all requirements are met.

What is Green Card Status in Louisiana?

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.

Green Card Application Costs: What to Expect in Louisiana

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.

Do You Need a Green Card Attorney to Get a Green Card in Louisiana?

Obtaining a green card is a complex process that involves navigating various legal requirements, submitting extensive documentation, and adhering to strict timelines. A Green Card attorney can be an invaluable asset in helping you secure your green card by providing expert guidance, minimizing errors, and ensuring compliance with all regulations.

Expertise and Knowledge

Immigration Green Card lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of U.S. immigration laws and procedures. They stay updated on the latest changes and can advise you on the most appropriate path to obtaining a green card, whether through family sponsorship, employment, asylum, or other categories. Their expertise ensures that you understand all eligibility requirements and prepare your application accordingly.

Personalized Guidance

An immigration Green Card lawyer can assess your unique situation and tailor their advice to your specific needs. They can help identify the most suitable immigration category, gather necessary documentation, and address any potential issues that may arise during the application process. This personalized approach can significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Document Preparation and Review

The green card application process requires meticulous preparation and submission of various forms and supporting documents. A Green Card lawyer can assist with completing forms such as Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), ensuring that all information is accurate and complete. They can also review your documentation to ensure it meets the required standards and addresses any potential red flags.

Legal Representation

If your case involves complications, such as prior immigration violations, criminal records, or the need for waivers, a Green Card attorney can provide essential legal representation. They can advocate on your behalf in front of immigration authorities, handle correspondence with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and represent you during interviews or hearings.

Peace of Mind

Navigating the green card process can be stressful and time-consuming. Having a Green Card attorney by your side can provide peace of mind, knowing that a professional is handling your case with expertise and attention to detail. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your life while ensuring that your application is in capable hands.Overall, hiring an immigration Green Card attorney can streamline the green card application process, reduce the likelihood of errors, and enhance the prospects of a successful outcome. Our specialized knowledge, personalized guidance, and legal representation can make a significant difference in achieving your goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident.

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Call our Louisiana Green Card Attorneys Today

SSD Law Firm PC stands out as your go-to immigration lawyers in Louisiana, 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 Louisiana Department now.