Can a Lawyer Speed up the Green Card Process?

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An immigration attorney may not necessarily speed up the process of getting your green card, as there is a lengthy waitlist that no attorney has the power to reduce. However, they can significantly reduce the chances of having your application delayed or denied.

American flag
American flag

What factors affect the timeline of my immigration process?

A bureaucratic backlog contributes to the amount of time that you will wait to hear a decision on your application. If you are applying for immigration, you can check the status of your application online and find the current average wait times for different applications. In order to see the average wait times, you need to go to the Check Case Processing Times page. If you have already submitted your application, then you will check the Case Status Online page.

Another reason why the timeline for your green card or visa may be longer is due to annual limits that affect visa availability in certain categories. An example is if you are trying to immigrate with your family using a family-based visa but do not have an immediate relative who is a US citizen sponsoring you. In that case, you and your family would then be considered part of a “preference category,” which is subject to annual limits. There are also annual limits on employment-based green cards, which are based on the date that your I–130 Petition or labor certification was filed.

Immigration lawyers know these limits and can explain which ones apply in your specific case. Depending on what country you are trying to immigrate from, the reasons you are trying to immigrate, and who you are bringing with you (e.g., dependents or a spouse), you could be subjected to various wait times. It’s best to do your research early on so you know how long to wait.

Common mistakes that can delay your application

Obtaining a green card is an important goal for many immigrants. People make some common mistakes when filing their immigration paperwork that inevitably delays their application or cause it to be completely rejected. One of the best reasons why you should hire an immigration attorney is so that you avoid these common mistakes:

  • Not submitting all of the necessary paperwork
  • Submitting documents that have not been translated into English
  • Not submitting the correct payment
  • Not submitting payment and a form that USCIS accepts. They will only accept checks or money orders from US institutions and do not accept cash or checks from foreign banks
  • Submitting an unsigned application
  • Not submitting paperwork before one’s current immigration status expires
  • Having a criminal record
  • Choosing to get advice from people who claim to be immigration agents but are not immigration attorneys who can advise on the laws and processes

Hiring an Immigration Attorney makes the process easier

San Diego immigration lawyer represents the individual who is trying to immigrate to the United States or helps leaders of foreign businesses open their doors in the U.S.

Immigration law can be notoriously complex, which is why it helps to have an immigration lawyer speaking on your behalf, looking out for your interests and guiding you throughout all of the steps in the process.

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Meghan Waters Mbaye

Meghan is a contributor for Backpacker Travel. She is an avid traveler who is always up for a new adventure. Meghan loves exploring new parts of the world, especially in Africa and Latin America.

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