FAQ American Immigration Law Offices

U.S. Immigration FAQ

Our US Immigration Attorney in London Can Answer Your Questions

The immigration process can be long, arduous and rife with dense paperwork. Additionally, there are a number of procedural requirements and deadlines with which applicants must comply. The most important thing a prospective immigrant can do when approaching their unique legal matter is to gather the factual information needed to be successful. At the American Immigration Law Office LTD, the firm strives not only to help clients swiftly complete the American immigration process, but also to ensure that they fully understand how it works.

In order to provide you with a solid foundation of the steps and common issues applicants face during immigration, this section of the firm's site includes some of the most frequently asked questions that the firm receives from individuals, families and employers.

Q: How can I move to the United States?
Q: How can I immigrate to the United States on a permanent basis?
Q: What is a "green card?"
Q: I am a Lawful Permanent Resident living in the UK. Is it true that I could lose my “green card"?
Q: Can I enter the Diversity Visa Program (the "green card lottery")?
Q: Why was I denied a visa at the U.S. Embassy?

Contact us today to discuss your options with an experienced attorney.

How can I move to the United States?

If you would like to visit, work or live the in United States of America, there are a number of visas which may be available to you. A nonimmigrant visa, for instance, will allow you to live in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Common types of visas include student visas, which will allow you to live in the U.S. for the duration of your studies, which is approximately four years for a standard Bachelor's degree, and visas permitting employment in the USA such as the the E-2 Investor visa which requires that you make a qualifying investment in a US business, or the L-1 Intra-Company Transferee visa.

If you wish to work or live in America as a permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa. It is strongly recommended that you consult an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer for specific advice concerning the legal options which would be most suitable for your particular situation.

How can I immigrate to the United States on a permanent basis?

Generally speaking, a person can immigrate to the United States through:

  • A qualifying family member, such as a spouse who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • A U.S. employer;
  • Making a qualifying investment;
  • Obtaining asylum or refugee status;
  • Winning the Diversity Visa Program (the "green card lottery");
  • Special categories.

What is a "green card?"

A person obtains a green card when he or she becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States, which occurs when an immigrant visa petition is approved. Usually, a green card holder can live and work in the USA without restriction. Green cards were not actually green for a long time, but the name derived from a period during the early 20th century when proof of permanent residence was issued in the form of a green coloured card. Since May 2010 when USCIS redesigned the card to fit its now infamous name, the card has been green again.

I am a Lawful Permanent Resident living in the UK. Is it true that I could lose my “green card"?

Lawful Permanent Residents are granted the right to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Lengthy absences from the USA do unfortunately have the potential to amount to an abandonment of one’s lawful permanent resident status in the eyes of the law. However, ‘green card’ holders meeting certain requirements may be able to make an application, proactively or retroactively, regarding their lawful permanent resident status.

Can I enter the Diversity Visa Program (the "green card lottery")?

Every year, individuals can enter the green card lottery online through the U.S. Department of State's official website. Entry is free of charge. In order to enter the diversity visa lottery, applicants must be from a country eligible to participate in the lottery (a Low Admission State), and must have either a high school diploma (or its equivalent), or at least two years of experience in an occupation requiring at least two years training or experience within five years of making the application.

Unfortunately, individuals born in the UK (except Northern Ireland) are not eligible to apply for the green card lottery because the UK is considered a High Admission Region.

Why was I denied a visa at the U.S. Embassy?

Being denied a U.S. visa is one of the most upsetting and frustrating experiences for visa applicants. There are many reasons why a visa may be denied, and you should have received a letter at the end of your interview at the consulate or embassy which specifies the reason for denial. The reasons can range from simple matters such as missing necessary documents or information, to more serious reasons such as having a past criminal conviction or having overstayed a previous U.S. visa. Some of the most common grounds for denial are 214(b) (lack of nonimmigrant intent) and 221(g) (administrative processing). Read more about visa denials here.

Please contact the firm to discuss your situation in depth, preferably before attending a U.S. Embassy appointment. However, we are likely to still be able to help you even if you have been denied a visa to the USA.

Further Reading

Our frequently updated US immigration blog on a variety of US immigration topics can be accessed here. You may also wish to read further information regarding our Practice Areas.

Contact the American Immigration Law Office LTD to Learn More

All applicants should understand that their unique circumstances will affect the ways in which the immigration process will unfolds during their case. This is why the firm delivers personalised services and works closely with each and every client. If you have additional questions or if you would like to learn more about the particularities of your case, contact the American Immigration Law Office LTD today.

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