If you’re one of the over one million immigrants who relocate to the U.S. each year, chances are you’ve encountered a large number of obstacles that are difficult to traverse. This is a daunting process for many people, and handling it can be overwhelming.

Leveraging the right immigration solutions will help you avoid issues you may have otherwise encountered and become a U.S. citizen with ease. We’ve written a brief guide with the key information you need to keep in mind before moving forward. Let’s explore the key information you need to consider to get the best results.

Mentally Prepare for the Process

In most circumstances, migrating to the United States will be a long and arduous process. It’s essential to mentally prepare so you can minimize your stress when moving forward.

To clarify, someone who expects to acquire citizenship in only a few weeks will be caught off guard. It’s also best to educate yourself as much as possible on what’s required of you. The US government has plenty of resources you can leverage to help you avoid common pitfalls.

Understand the Paths to Citizenship

There are multiple ways you can obtain a green card in the US. The right one for you will depend on the nuances of your situation. Let’s explore them in detail below.

Diversity Lottery

Many people overlook this process when pursuing citizenship in the U.S. It’s a unique program that distributes a limited number of green cards to people from countries that have low rates of immigration to the U.S. For foreign nationals properly registering for this visa lottery, recipients are chosen randomly and there is no way for a registrant to increase their chances as compared to other registrants.

Employment-Based Green Cards

These are meant primarily for skilled professionals and workers immigrating to the US. There are multiple categories of employment-based green cards as well.

The EB-1 is meant for “extraordinary” individuals. These are people who have attained notable accomplishments in their field or who have made a significant contribution to the economy or culture. A good example would be a high-profile soccer player from Europe.

The EB-2, generally speaking, is for advanced degree holders, such as those with PhDs. The EB-5 visa is for people willing to make substantial investments in the U.S. and create jobs. An executive or manager of a multinational corporation, for instance, could seek U.S. residence while in the process of relocating to the U.S. and/or expanding their business to the U.S.

Family-Based Green Cards

Many people are familiar with family-based green cards for personal permanent immigration, as they can help someone secure citizenship through their family relationship. This includes spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens, and in some cases, lawful permanent residents (green card holders). This citizenship pathway aims to help families reunite and stay together.

The Application Process

Applying for citizenship involves different obligations, and you’ll need to handle these efficiently to maximize your chance of success. It’s also important to understand how to navigate contingencies that arise. Let’s examine the key components of the process.

Someone Files a Petition For You

More often than not, a person or company will need to file a green card petition for you. This is commonly your employer or family member with U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. In the case of the former, an employer, for example, could file on behalf of an international student who has completed their degree and gained work experience, to help them obtain U.S. resident status, and eventually citizenship.

In some situations, it’s possible to file a petition yourself. Working with the right attorney can help you make the best decision for your needs.

File for the Application

Petition approval will depend on many factors, including the submission of appropriate supporting documents. The type immigrant category you will be applying under will determine the type of documentation that will be required, with different requirements applying to different immigration categories.

Complete Your Interview

The final stage of obtaining permanent resident status, aka Green Card, usually involves an interview with an appropriate government agency.  If undergoing the process in the U.S., its called an Adjustment of Status interview, and where they’ll ask you various questions, such as your reason for immigrating, details surrounding your work and immigration history, whether you have a criminal record, etc.  In advance of the interview, you’ll go to a biometrics appointment to have your photo taken and provide your signature/fingerprints.

Receive Your Decision

You’ll receive a decision on your application after completing the above steps. If you’re denied, you can usually appeal the decision.  If you’re approved, you will be granted U.S. residence and be on the road to U.S. citizenship.

Find the Right Attorney

To get the best results, it’s imperative to work with the right lawyer. They can help you figure out your best course of action, such as how to obtain personal permanent visas.

When looking for someone to work with, consider their past reputation. See what other people online have to say about their experience with the firm.

It’s best to choose attorneys with no shortage of positive feedback. However, it’s important to look for fake reviews.

These are often posted in batches and contain many of the same keywords. Ignore them when making your assessment so you can have an accurate view of the firm.

Are they enthusiastic about working with you? This is one of the most important attributes to consider, as it will dictate how much effort they put toward your case.

You can gauge their enthusiasm by seeing how many questions they ask about your case. Ideally, you’ll find someone who wants to know as much as possible about your situation.

What’s their pricing structure like? Some attorneys charge flat rates while others charge by the hour. Understanding these details will help you avoid financial surprises.

Keep in mind that some attorneys impose miscellaneous fees. It’s best to avoid these at all costs. With enough due diligence, you shouldn’t have an issue finding the best lawyer for your needs.

Don’t Neglect Immigration Solutions

Without the right immigration solutions, it can be difficult to navigate the personal permanent immigration process. The information in this guide will help you get the desired outcome and take advantage of everything citizenship has to offer. Just be sure to find the right lawyer.

USA Visa Counsel is a Chicago-based law firm focusing exclusively on immigration law. We speak English, Spanish, Polish, Russian and more.

We strive to help our clients feel as comfortable as possible while working with us and develop individualized plans for their needs. You’ll learn more about how we can help when you schedule a consultation with us today.