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Permanent Residency and Green Cards

Immigration Defense Attorney in San Jose and San Francisco

Permanent residency (the "Green Card") allows a person to live and work in the United States on an indefinite basis. Daniel Shanfield, Esq. Immigration Defense has assisted immigrants throughout the San Jose and Bay Area obtain permanent resident status for years. As a former trial attorney with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Daniel has a unique "insider's" understanding of the green card process. Based on his extensive knowledge and one-of-a-kind experience, the firm has been rated 10/10 by AVVO.com and named "superb in experience, industry recognition and professional conduct". We understand how important permanent residency is to our immigrant clients and their families, and we are committed to helping them succeed. It is important that you work with an immigration defense lawyer in San Jose and San Francisco who will guide you through the process.

Paths to Permanent Residency

You can seek permanent residency in a number of ways such as:

Employment-Based (I-140) Petition: Your employer petitions to have you here in the United States as a worker with valuable or unique skills.

Family-Based (I-130) Petition: A U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or a U.S. citizen adult son or daughter or sibling, may petition USCIS to bring you here in the United States. Your petitioner must be a citizen or enjoy permanent residency status. In some cases, you would then be able to bring your spouse or minor children with you.

Adjustment of Status: If you are already in the country on a non-immigrant tourist, student or employment visa, you may seek adjustment of status to permanent residency through a petition by a relative or potential employer.
Consular Processing: If the immigrant is outside of the United States, a qualified spouse, parent, sibling or adult son or daughter mentioned above may file an I-130, and once approved by USCIS, the immigrant may apply for an immigrant visa through the U.S. State Department, and appear for the visa interview at the U.S. consular visa post in the immigrant's home country. Once the immigrant visa is approved, the immigrant can then travel to the United States to receive pre-approved permanent residency and the green card.

Asylum and Refugee Petition: If you have acquired asylum or refugee status in the United States, you may apply for permanent resident green card status after one year in asylum or refugee status.

VAWA: Under the Violence Against Women Act, if you have been abused by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, you may pursue permanent residency without your spouse through an I-360 VAWA self-petition.

Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status: In some cases, non-citizen minors who have been abandoned by their parents or are orphaned and have been adjudicated as "dependent" by a state court may apply for permanent residency as wards of the state or as wards of a legally designated guardian.


Before applying for permanent residency status, it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney. Immigrants with criminal records and other non-citizens who entered the United States on tourist visas or came in illegally are at serious risk of denial of a green card application. By speaking with us first, we can help you avoid many of the traps set up to prevent immigrants from getting legal residency in the U.S.

San Francisco San Jose Immigration Defense Lawyer

We are interested in helping you and your family to obtain permanent residency. When a petition gets "stuck" at the FBI or with a USCIS agent, we can seek to compel action by obtaining a court order called a writ of mandamus. For aggressive advocacy, contact our firm.

Contact an immigration defense attorney in San Francisco and San Joseat our firm for dedicated help in petitioning for permanent residency.

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Address: 111 W. St John Street, Suite 315 San Jose, CA 95113 Phone: (866) 559-9498