The legal immigration system includes several pathways. It can be based on family relationships, employment, and the need for humanitarian protection. Each path has its requirements, imposes its wait times, and is subject to annual immigration caps. Some people apply to become green card holders through immediate family sponsorship. Others go through a more complicated process that often takes years and can cost thousands of dollars.
Prepare Your Documents
The legal immigration Wharton NJ process requires that individuals submit much-supporting documentation. For example, they will likely have to present their birth certificates, marriage licenses, travel documents, educational transcripts and diplomas, and criminal records. If any of these documents are in a language other than English, they must be translated. It is also essential to answer all questions truthfully on the forms. Even minor deviations from the truth can significantly impact your case. Immigration attorneys can give legal advice as to how to respond to any questions that may arise. Make sure to pay any required filing fees. Unpaid fees are one of the top reasons that applications get rejected. It’s a good idea to keep proof of payment (such as a receipt or a copy of the check) for your records. Also, always double-check that you have submitted all of the necessary documents. Missing documents are another common reason that applications get rejected.
Find a Legal Immigration Attorney
Due to the complexity of immigration law, even minor errors can have dire repercussions. To avoid problems, a foreign national should find a legal immigration attorney to provide guidance tailored to their situation. The best way to find a lawyer is through a referral from someone with similar circumstances. Many lawyers also offer free or low-cost legal clinics for those who have trouble affording a full-fledged lawyer. When meeting with an immigration attorney, asking questions about their education, qualifications, and experience is essential. Ideally, an immigration lawyer should specialize in or at least have extensive experience with the type of case you are bringing. Applicants should also avoid individuals who are not attorneys but claim expertise in this area. These individuals may have high-volume, low-value practices that the bar association does not consider ethical and should be avoided at all costs.
Prepare for the Interview
Immigration is a highly politicized area, and national laws on the subject range from the broadly inclusive to the profoundly nationalist. However, all countries are obligated to allow their citizens to enter. Annual immigration caps considerably delay and often eliminate most legal immigrants’ chances of becoming permanent residents. The diversity lottery has only a 0.2% chance of winning a green card, and family sponsorship is capped for spouses, minor children, and parents of adult U.S. citizens. Employer-sponsored immigration offers a chance for a green card, but it is limited to specific categories.
Prepare for the Court Hearing
It’s essential to be aware that immigration judges have limited numbers of hearings in a day. Your case will likely be only one of twenty or so on the judge’s calendar for that day. It’s not uncommon for these hearings to take less than an hour. If your lawyer or you are representing yourself, always bring four copies of all exhibits (for the court clerk, the judge, and yourself). Read all instructions thoroughly. If the instructions are not in English, secure a translation. Legal immigration requires meeting many baseline criteria. A legitimate fear of being persecuted because of one’s ethnicity, religion, nationality, affiliation with a specific social group, or political beliefs is among them; a credible risk of torture; or severe physical harm, coercive medical or psychological treatment, extortion or robbery or the threat of any of these things. In addition to these, all applicants must meet numerous application filing requirements.