Attorney Olena Manilich Answers Frequent Questions About U.S. Immigration
Immigration law can be very confusing, especially for foreign nationals who are not familiar with the American legal system. The laws are complex and there are many legal terms.
I am Olena Manilich, an immigration lawyer in New York City. If you need help with any immigration issue, please call me to arrange a consultation to discuss your specific situation.
What is a green card?
A green card is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immigrants who qualify for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. A green card gives you permission to work in the United States and confers certain rights, including the right to stay in the U.S.
How long does a visa last?
A nonimmigrant visa is a temporary permit to visit, study or work in the United States. Each category has a different duration. Some are granted for six months and can be extended by six-month increments. Some are issued for one or two years. Some, such as student visas, are valid as long as you remain enrolled full-time. I can help if your visa has expired or will soon expire. It is important to get it renewed before you are out of compliance.
How long does a green card last?
Despite the term “permanent” resident, most green cards expire after 10 years. They can be renewed, starting six months before the expiration. Conditional green cards for newly married immigrants expire after two years. You may have to prove you still meet the conditions to renew your legal resident status.
What is adjustment of status?
If you are in the U.S. on a temporary visa, adjustment of status allows you to apply for permanent residency (green card) without having to return to your country of origin. I can help you determine if you are eligible to adjust status and help you file the Form 1-485 petition.
Do I need a job lined up before I can apply for a work visa?
Yes, in most cases, foreign nationals must have a specific job offer from a sponsoring U.S. employer to obtain a nonimmigrant work visa. If you have a green card, you can travel freely in the United States and work anywhere.
What is labor certification?
Some categories of work visas require proof that there is a specialized need that can only be filled through immigration. The employer must complete a labor certification, via the PERM system, to verify that no U.S. citizens are qualified or eligible for the position.
What is the difference between a marriage visa and a fiánce visa?
The K-1 fiánce/fiancée visa allows entry to a noncitizen who is engaged to a U.S. citizen. They must marry within 90 days of the fiánce/fiancée entering the United States. Once married, the spouse can apply for a green card.
The K-3 marriage visa is for noncitizen spouses who are already married to U.S. citizens. It grants temporary status while they seek permanent status (green card). Spouses may choose to pursue a green card through consular processing instead.
What are the requirements to become a citizen?
Naturalization is the legal process for immigrants to become full U.S. citizens. The criteria include:
- 18 years of age
- Lawful permanent resident status
- Five continuous years of residency
- Basic ability to read, write and speak English
- Good moral character
I can help you determine if you meet the requirements and assist with the application process.
What are the requirements for asylum?
Asylum allows a person to enter or stay in the United States if they would be in danger in their country of origin. The petitioner must show proof of credible fear of persecution on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion or targeted social group.
More Questions About Immigration?
If you have questions about a specific visa or specific situation, I invite you to contact me for a in-office consultation. Email me or call my Manhattan law office at 917-920-4228, or click here to book an appointment. I welcome people throughout New York, across the United States and worldwide.
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