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Citizenship is the state of being a citizen. While most United States citizens are born into citizenship, others apply through a bureaucratic process called “naturalization”. To apply for citizenship, an individual must have spent at least 5 years as a permanent legal resident in the United States and must demonstrate good moral character. Naturalization lawyers and immigration lawyers can help you through the naturalization process if you are pursuing U.S. citizenship.
When the government acts to remove a foreign-born individual from the United States, it is called “deportation”. Deportability grounds describe a number of reasons for deportation, including criminal offenses, illegal participation in U.S. elections, falsification of documents (such as a green card), and security concerns. Immigration lawyers can help you sort through potential defenses to deportability if you are threatened with removal.
Permanent Visas or Green Cards
Permanent visas or “green cards” are visas that allow a person to live in the United States for an extended period of time. Green card lawyers can walk you through the process of obtaining your green card, but you will need to find a sponsor (a U.S. employer or relative) on your own. If you have a high school diploma or at least two years of experience at a job that would require training in the United States, you can also speak with visa lottery lawyers—lawyers that will assist you when entering the green card lottery.
Temporary visas are also known as “nonimmigrant visas.” These types of visas are usually issued to exchange students, visiting businessmen, foreign press members and reporters, and workers in certain, specialized occupations. By nature, temporary visas are fixed with expiration dates, and overstaying a visa can get you into legal trouble. Immigration lawyers can help you better understand the limitations of your visa and assist you in the renewal process.