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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in permanent residence

IL immigration lawyerImmigration is a hot topic these days, given recent government changes to the laws and increased enforcement at the United States/Mexico border. Many U.S. citizens have family members who wish to join them here. Any U.S. citizen can help a relative become a legal permanent resident of the United States by obtaining a “Green Card.” To accomplish this, a person must sponsor his or her relative and prove that he or she has enough income or assets to support the relative once he or she enters the United States. It is important to note that if the immigrant qualifies, he or she can apply for citizenship later. If you are considering sponsoring a loved one, you need to know the necessary legal steps to take.

Requirements for Sponsorship

Obtaining permanent resident status provides a family member with the privilege of living and working in the United States permanently. The petitioner is required to show evidence to prove the familial relationship to the person for whom he or she is sponsoring. In order to sponsor a relative for permanent residency in the United States, there are several requirements that must be met:

  • The sponsor must have a qualifying family relationship with the beneficiary.
  • The person must be willing to sponsor the relative to become a legal permanent resident by filing a Petition for Alien Relative form (I-130).

A U.S. citizen can file a petition for these relatives:

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Posted on in Immigration

family based immigration, Chicago immigration lawyers, current immigration law, permanent residence, green card holderWith false and misinformed claims regarding family immigration in the news on a seemingly constant basis in recent weeks and months, it is imperative that accurate information find its way to the forefront of the discussion. With malicious claims of “chain migration” being commonplace, it matters that everyone who needs true information about family migration be able to access it. 

MYTH: If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, you can sponsor any member of your family to immigrate.

TRUTH: This is false. Family-based immigration is restricted in that a naturalized citizen may only sponsor his or her spouse, children, and if he or she is over age 21, his or her siblings and parents. However, the mere ability to sponsor someone does not mean that your family member’s path to legal status in the U.S. will be somehow faster than anyone else’s; it conveys no real advantage, given that every documented immigrant must go through the same process. Also, a sponsor does not mean that a person’s application will be vetted any less stringently than someone’s application for asylum or an employment-based application for status, despite more misleading and inaccurate claims being perpetuated by media and government officials.

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Posted on in Immigration

DuPage County immigration attorneys, permanent residencyInternational marriage is becoming common. In order to make it work, however, there are legalities that must be observed, and many people wind up in trouble due to being unaware of such requirements. One of the most important is having conditions placed on your permanent residency, and how to apply to remove them. This is done to cut down on fraudulent “green card” marriages, but it can cause problems even for those in true relationships.

Conditions Placed on Permanent Residency

If you are engaged to marry a U.S. citizen, or if you have been married for less than two years upon your entry into the U.S., you are entitled to apply for permanent residence. However, if successful, you will receive a conditional grant of permanent residency, valid for two years only. United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will then more fully investigate your background and bona fides during that two year period.

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Posted on in Immigration

DuPage County immigration lawyers, Child Citizenship ActIt is much more common nowadays than it has been in recent years to adopt children from foreign countries, for a myriad of reasons. However, in the past, new parents would run into difficulties obtaining the right visas or citizenship papers for their children. In 2000, the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) was passed, expediting the process for many new families and granting automatic citizenship to these newly adopted children.

Qualification Requirements

Not every adopted child will qualify for automatic citizenship under the CCA. By definition, he or she must still be a child under American law; in other words, he or she must have been under 18 years of age on February 27, 2001—the date the law went into effect. However, if a child meets that requirement, there are only a few additional qualifications he or she must also fulfill. These include the following:

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US relations, permanent resident card, Chicago immigration lawyerIn recent months, a remarkable phenomenon has been taking shape. For the first time since 1961, there will soon be a United States diplomatic mission in Cuba, and a thawing of relations between the two countries. President Obama has sought to normalize diplomatic relations in the hope of accomplishing several domestic goals. While many are excited about this turn of events, it has many Cubans and those of Cuban descent worried: what will change, if anything, regarding immigration? Will cases in progress be halted or changed, with requirements for visas likely changing?

The Cuban Adjustment Act

Unlike most people who attempt to enter the United States, Cubans have been the beneficiaries of some specific legislation due to the situation in their home country. The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) is the most well-known, enacted in 1966 to ensure Cubans fleeing the Castro government had a safe haven.

The CAA states that any Cuban national or citizen who enters the U.S. (1) with inspection, (2) is physically present in the U.S. for more than one year, and (3) is otherwise admissible to the United States (that is, not having a criminal record or any other factor rendering one inadmissible) falls under the act. The CAA permits Cubans to apply for permanent residence after having been present in the country for one year, unlike other nationalities that must wait for processing—often a decade or more. The rules against being a public charge and entering at an official port of entry also do not apply to Cubans.

There is also what is referred to as the “Cuban lottery,” or Special Cuban Migration Program (SCMP). The Cuban lottery is available to all adults between the ages of 18 and 55 who live in Cuba, irrespective of their eligibility for other immigration options. The last registration period was in 1998, however, with no plans currently to hold another one.

The Reality on the Ground

Despite such marked upheaval likely to occur soon, if someone is already in the process of obtaining their visa or a grant of asylum, nothing is likely to change for them. Even people who have not yet begun the visa process may still be able to immigrate under the CAA and other assorted legislative acts meant to benefit Cubans. Congress is “not likely to alter” the CAA without serious concessions made by the Castro government in the name of transparency and human rights.

However, there is one wrinkle that might prove problematic for Cubans attempting entry into the U.S.: Section 235 of the Immigration & Nationality Act (8 USC §1225) lays out the requirements for expedited removal of those who do not have valid papers, but §235(b)(1)(F) expressly excludes nationals of “countries in the Western Hemisphere with whom the United States has no diplomatic relations.” The only country that fits that description currently is Cuba. In other words, though the CAA may remain in effect, it would no longer be possible for Cubans to simply show up at American ports of entry without documentation and not face expedited removal. They would have to enter with a valid visa and overstay in order to qualify under the CAA.

An Immigration Attorney Can Help You

Even if the opening of Cuba may be exciting for many, it can still cause issues and problems for others. If you or a loved one may have your circumstances change as a result of re-established diplomatic relations, you may need professional assistance. The Chicago immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are experienced in the field, and happy to work with you. We work hard and keep our clients in the loop every step of the way. Contact us today to discuss your options.

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