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Immigration FAQ

U.S. Immigration laws and processes can sometimes seem daunting, complicated and lengthy. To ensure that your immigration goals are accomplished without a hitch, it is advisable that you hire an experienced immigration attorney. Ral Obioha is skilled, efficient and qualified and have successfully handled a variety of immigration cases.

To better assist you, we have answered some commonly asked questions below. If you have additional questions about immigration or would like to get a free case evaluation contact us today!

I am a U.S. Citizen. What family members can I file a green card petition for?

A U.S. Citizen can file a green card petition for immediate relatives such as a spouse, unmarried child under 21, parent if citizen is 21 or older, and siblings.  You cannot sponsor an aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent.

I am a U.S. Permanent Resident. What family members can I sponsor a green card petition for?

As a Permanent Resident of the United States, you can petition for a spouse, unmarried children under 21, and unmarried son or daughter of any age.

My child is a U.S Citizen. Can s/he sponsor a green card petition for me?

Yes. However, your child must be at least 21 years old to sponsor your green card petition. In fact, anyone must be 21 years old to sponsor a petition, except if the petition is for a spouse.

I would like to come to the U.S. for a temporary stay or visit? What types of visas are available to me?

In order to enter the United States temporarily, you need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Depending on the specific reason for your visit or stay, there are various types of non-immigration visas.  For example, if you wish to attend a work conference, take vacation or come to the U.S. for medical reasons. you can apply for a temporary visiting visa; if you would like to further your education and skills in the U.S., you can apply for a student visa; or if you plan to come to the U.S. to invest in a business, you can apply for a business inventor visa.

I want to become a Permanent U.S. resident, how can I qualify?

You may qualify for permanent residency in the United States if you are a fiancée of a U.S. citizen, an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, an immediate relative of a U.S. lawful permanent resident, if you qualify for a work visa and in other ways.

Contact us today to find out if you qualify for a green card.

I want to become a U.S. citizen. What do I do?

The three most common pathways to becoming a U.S. citizen is (1) through a qualifying family relationship, (2) through a sponsoring employer, or (3) by winning the diversity visa lottery.

Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.

After I obtain a green card, what do I need in order to obtain citizenship through naturalization?

In order to obtain U.S. Citizenship through naturalization, a green card holder must be 18 years or older, been a permanent resident for at least 5 years, lived within the USCIS district of filing at least 3 months prior to filing, have continuous presence in the U.S. at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing, be able to read, write and speak English and be a person of good moral character.

If you are eligible to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, and otherwise meet all the above requirements, you may be able to file for citizenship after being a permanent resident for 3 years or more.

Consult with us today in order to get a complete list of the qualifications and requirements.

How do I qualify for an employment-based immigrant visa?

You may qualify for an employment-based immigration visa through a job offer for permanent employment in the United States, through investing in an enterprise that creates new job opportunities in the U.S., through self petitioning as an “Alien of Extraordinary ability”, through obtaining a National Interest Waiver and based on certain special categories of jobs such as religious workers and broadcasters.

Our firm can assist you in determining if you qualify to obtain an immigrant work visa.

How long do I have to wait for my immigrant visa?

The wait time for an immigrant visa depends on the category of the immigrant visa. Immigrant visas are categorized based on preference. First preference categories such as immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens, such as spouses of United States citizens, parents of United States citizens, and unmarried children under age 21 of United States citizens, do not have to wait for visas to become available. Immediate relatives only need to wait for their visa to be processed and for their visa interview to be scheduled. Applicants for other visa categories will need to wait for a visa number to become available. You can check when your visa category will be available using the monthly Department of State visa bulletin.

The visa bulletin lists the available visas based on “priority date” which is the date that the immigrant visa petition was received by USCIS after it was submitted by the United States citizen or permanent resident petitioner.

My Green Card expired. How do I renew it?

If your 10-year Green Card expires or will expire within the next 6 months, and you are physically present in the U.S.,  you may renew your green card by filing a Form I-90.

If your Green Card expires while you are outside of the United States and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, please contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal card.

I received a deportation order. What do I do to avoid being deported?

Immediately you receive a deportation order or notification, you must contact an experienced immigration attorney at our firm, who will examine your case and help you build a deportation defense.

If you or your loved one has immigration questions, wishes to file a visa petition, or looking to avoid deportation, Contact us today for a consultation. The Law Office of Ral Obioha, PLLC is skilled, passionate and professional.