A green card or Permanent Resident Card is evidence that you are in the United States legally, and have the right to live and work permanently in this country. This is typically the desired status of our clients, although many do go on to pursue full Citizenship
If you would like to enter the United States in order to work, start a business, or stay with your fiancé/fiancée, the first thing you’ll need is a visa, in most cases. (Tourists from some countries may visit the U.S. without a visa, but usually for only three months. A visa allows you to apply for entry to the U.S. There are many different kinds of visas, and each has its own purpose.
When you apply for a Religious Visa, it is actually the religious institution that is the client. As with an Employment Visa, the client is filing so that you can come and provide some type of religious service to the organization. Rabbis, Priests, Cantors, and Teachers, for instance, can get R-1 visas through their religious organization, and their immediate family members are eligible for R-2 visas
If you are seeking refuge from religious, political, or racial persecution, you may be able to claim asylum in the United States. Asylum applications can be made through United State Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the immigration court). However, these are extremely difficult applications that are closely scrutinized. If you are hoping to gain asylum in the U.S., you will need experienced representation.
At TNT Law, we have helped hundreds of clients get green cards through family-based immigration applications. The spouses, children, parents, and siblings of American Citizens are eligible to apply for green cards through their family members. In some cases the wait time for this type of immigration is non-existent—this tends to be true for the spouses of citizens, and parents of children who are citizens and over the age of 21.
Citizenship & Naturalization
US Citizenship is the ultimate goal of most of my clients. If you are a green-card holder hoping to become an American citizen, you should know that your green card CAN BE TAKEN AWAY. This happens for various reasons, including criminal conviction. Your green card can also be taken if you leave the United States with the intention of abandoning your status. Traveling for vacation doesn’t fall into this category, but leaving the United States for more than six months can jeopardize your status.
Visa Extensions / Changes
Many of our clients come to the United States on a Tourist Visa (B2). After four or five months of travel, they decide they would like to extend their trip, but their visa is only valid for a six-month stay. They may even be considering employment options in the U.S., or hoping to pursue higher education in this country.
One of the main ways you can get a temporary visa, or sometimes even a green card, is through your employer. In an employment immigration situation, your attorney typically represents the company (your employer), and you are considered a “product” that can be plugged into an approved job. Please note that it is nearly impossible to fix an “overstay” problem through an employment visa, so if you are hoping for this type of visa, make sure you don’t limit your opportunities by staying beyond your legal time.
Have you received a Notice to Appear (NTA) from immigration court? A NTA means that the government has started the process of removing you from the United States. This document also sets the place and date where you will have the first hearing, a Master Calendar Hearing. Going to court can be intimidating, but does not necessarily mean a bad outcome.
Not all visas or green cards are obtained while the applicant is in the United States. In some cases, you may apply for a visa directly at the consular office in your home country, before traveling to the United States. The B1/B2 visa, for instance, allows you to travel to the U.S. temporarily, for business or pleasure. You can also obtain a K visa from your home country, which will allow you to visit your fiancé or fiancée in the United States, with the requirement that you will marry within 90 days.