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How Can I Sponsor My Niece or Nephew for U.S. Immigration and Permanent Residency?There are several ways that an American citizen can help a niece or nephew immigrate to the U.S. and obtain a green card, also known as lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Unfortunately, there is no immediate relative or family preference visa category that allows you to directly sponsor their immigration. Rather, you must consider one of these more circuitous routes:

1. Adopt an orphaned niece or nephew under age 16, making them an immediate relative.

The immediate relative (IR) category allows for the quickest path to immigration, as there are no annual limits on the number of IR visas. The IR category is available to the following relatives of a US citizen:

  • Your parent;
  • Your spouse;
  • Your unmarried child under age 21; or
  • An orphan under age 16 whom you have adopted outside the U.S. or will adopt once they reach the U.S.

2. Sponsor the parent of your niece or nephew for a family preference visa.

The family preference visa category allows U.S. citizens age 21 and older to sponsor the immigration of their siblings, subject to an annual quota of 65,000. The sibling petition can include the sibling’s spouse and minor children under age 21. 

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New Canaan asylum application lawyerYou may be granted asylum in the United States if you have suffered persecution in your home country due to your race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or membership in a certain social group, or if you have a “credible fear” of such persecution if you return to your home country.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes a distinction between the terms asylee and refugee. If you are applying for asylum from within the U.S. or at a port of entry, USCIS considers you an asylee or asylum seeker. If you apply from a location abroad, you are considered a refugee applying for admission. This article will only address the issues of asylum seekers.

How a Person in the U.S. Can Apply for Asylum 

If you have already entered the United States, you may be allowed to remain if you meet the criteria for asylum and are deemed admissible to the U.S. You must file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, within one year after entering the U.S. The assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is recommended, because even a minor error in your application can result in processing delays or outright denial of your request for asylum.

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Posted on in Immigration

Darien, CT U.S. citizenship attorneyIn a previous post, we explained four benefits of U.S. citizenship. Here are four more benefits of taking the next step beyond lawful permanent resident (LPR) status to become a naturalized citizen

1. Gain Access to Federal Government Jobs

Agencies of the U.S. federal government (excluding the Postal Service) employ roughly 1.8 million full-time civilian workers throughout the country. Most federal government jobs require U.S. citizenship. 

Are you wondering if an LPR can serve in the United States military? The answer is yes, but opportunities may be limited due to security clearance requirements. 

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Darien CT immigration citizenship attorneyU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been dealing with a record number of applications for U.S. citizenship by naturalization during the past few years. As a result, it is taking much longer for naturalization applications to be processed.

Growing Demand for U.S. Naturalization

The annual number of applications for naturalization received by USCIS rose from 783,000 in fiscal year 2015 to nearly one million in FY 2017, a 25 percent increase. Final figures are not yet available for FY 2018 (the 12 months ending on October 8, 2018). The first week of October marks the end of each USCIS fiscal year.

As a result of this increased demand for naturalization, it took an average of 10.2 months for an application for naturalization to be processed in FY 2018. This is nearly double the average processing time of 5.2 months reported in FY 2014.

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Westchester County immigration interview lawyerFrom the moment you decide you would like to immigrate to the U.S. until the moment you become a United States citizen, you will go through at least two in-person interviews with U.S. immigration officials. 

When Interviews Are Required During the Immigration Process

Many people first come to the U.S. on non-immigrant visas, such as F1 visas for college students or H1-B visas for skilled workers. In order to get those visas, the applicant must appear at a U.S. consulate in their home country for an in-person interview. When such individuals decide they would like to convert their temporary status to lawful permanent resident (green card) status, they often find an employer willing to sponsor them for an employment-based immigration visa, most commonly an EB-2 or EB-3 visa. An in-person interview is again required prior to issuance of an EB visa. 

Other people are able to become lawful permanent residents via a family-based immigration visa, often sponsored by a family member (parent, spouse, child, or sibling) who is already a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States. An in-person interview is required prior to the issuance of immediate relative (IR), family preference (F), and fiancé (K) visas.

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