Did you know that immigrants make up more than a third of the labor force in the United States, making their contribution to the U.S economy rather significant?
For immigrants to successfully integrate into the new environment and have a positive impact on the development of the economy, it is essential to have a strong support system and a sense of community during this process of immigration
Moreover, family members who arrive on family-based visas will already have resources available to them. This makes it easier for them to integrate into the community and move up the socio-economic ladder.
If you’re interested in legalizing the immigration status of your family members, we’ve prepared the top 3 essential things you should know about this process:
The eligibility requirements for getting a Green Card
The lawmakers for immigration laws have been relying mainly on two principles when writing them:
- Making reuniting immigrants with their family members easier
- Making sure that the immigrants are not a socio-economic threat to the US
That means if you or your family members are highly qualified and have a clean record, you’ve probably got a clean case that won’t require much meddling.
The reason for this is that research has shown that immigrant families promote investment in the US human capital and help sustain the workforce, meaning that it is in the interest of the US government to legalize the statuses of those who contribute to the country’s labor market.
However, things get a bit complicated if one of you has got some bumps in your resume.
Your immediate relatives, such as parents, spouses and children under the age of 12 may be eligible for a Green card within the Family category.
They’ll have to, for one, go through a medical examination to ensure that they don’t have a disease that might threaten public health (like Covid-19) or a physical or mental disorder that may affect the welfare of others. Another thing that may make them ineligible is an addiction to drugs, for example.
Although, just because they have a health issue or a mental or physical disorder doesn’t mean that they’re automatically ineligible for a Green Card. An immigration lawyer can help determine whether a condition can be effectively treated and therefore disregarded as a reason for ineligibility.
Your family members could be in a similar situation if they’ve had specific prior criminal convictions.
An immigration lawyer can tell you whether the crime they’ve committed is on the list within the Immigration and Nationality Act. If they are, fear not, because they still might be potentially eligible for legal forgiveness, which may allow them to apply for a visa nonetheless.
In other words, don’t get discouraged if, at first sight, it seems like you or your family members are ineligible for a Green Card. Consulting with an immigration lawyer will certainly give you a clearer picture of whether you should go through the immigration process anyway.
Bureaucracy stifles the pace of your immigration process
If you’ve had a chat with someone who’s been going through an immigration process, you’ve likely heard about those pesky situations of their documentation ending up lost or misplaced. This is just one of many things that can go wrong when dealing with immigration bureaucracy.
Immigration lawyers usually have ties, influence and a way of contacting someone in the government without waiting for hours on the line to solve an issue. You, on the other hand, may end up doing exactly that just to get disregarded the moment someone picks up the phone.
Not to mention that you’ll be required to fill out multiple lengthy and complex immigration forms without being given many explanations as to how to fill them out. If your English is poor, you may have trouble understanding everything, as the government does not provide any translations.
An illegal immigrant lawyer will fill out the entire application for you and your family members, as well as prepare the rest of your cases, which will allow you to focus on your integration and building a life in the new community instead.
The system is hard to navigate
Immigration laws are extensive and tough to understand, which is why it might be worth hiring an attorney to provide some guidance and legal advice on it.
You may not know all the documentation that you need to gather before applying for a Green Card, to begin with.
For example, did you know that you need to sign a contract where you agree to financially support your incoming family members?
If you’re signing any kind of contract, you’ll want to understand it and know what it entails. Government resources are not enough to support a whole family, so make sure that you understand the responsibilities that you’re taking on to the full extent.
Another step of family-based immigration is an in-person interview your family members will have with the immigration agency. They’ll be asked all sorts of questions about your relationship with your parents, spouse and children, about their criminal records, addictions, communicable diseases and so on.
Your lawyer can give you tips on how these interviews should be handled, how your family members should look and sound and what kind of answers they should provide.
You’re likely already aware of the high stakes and the possibility of becoming ineligible for another application in the next couple of years in case your application is denied.
However, in the end, it’s on you to decide whether you can handle your immigration case alone or if you might need additional help.