Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A. - Miami and Boca Raton Immigration Attorneys Weiss, Alden & Polo, P.A. - Miami and Boca Raton Immigration Attorneys
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Legal permanent residence first step to U.S. citizenship

Florida attracts people from all over the world, but obtaining authorization to live or work in the country or pursue citizenship can be extremely challenging. The controversy around President Trump's desire to allow the deportation of young people who grew up in the country without proper documentation has highlighted the hurdles that anyone faces when striving to live in the United States legally.

In general, a person needs to hold a green card for a minimum of five years and live in the country for the preceding 30 months to qualify potentially as a legal permanent resident. After achieving this step, the path to citizenship requires that a person speak, read and write English, display knowledge of U.S. history and have good character. The Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States must also be given.

The difficulty of gaining a green card stymies most people who want to achieve a legal status. The most common route involves a close family member in the country requesting a green card for someone. Certain employers can also vouch for a person, and refugees and asylum seekers have a chance of getting green cards as well. Limits on the issuance of green cards prevents most people from succeeding. For example, 1.3 million Mexicans are on a wait list when the government only allows 25,620 to enter from that country legally in a year.

The advice of an attorney could help a person engage with immigration authorities. An attorney could examine the person's situation and suggest a strategy for establishing a permanent residence. Legal advice could help a person prepare documentation to bring in a relative or hire a worker. Information from an attorney could enable someone to understand rights when responding to questions at an immigration interview or hearing.

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