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Green Cards

The experienced immigration lawyers at the LL.M. Law Group can assist foreign nationals obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States, or a "Green Card."  We offer special prices for Green Card packages, or can help immigrants prepare and file the following applications relating to Green Cards:

Adjustment of Status

Foreign nationals in the United States with approved immigration petitions may file for Adjustment of Status to adjust their nonimmigrant status to permanent resident ("Green Card holder"). This application is appropriate for spouses, parents and unmarried children of a U.S. citizen with an approved immigrant petition and certain foreign nationals who lawfully entered the United States and have maintained legal status.

Advance Parole

Foreign nationals in the process of adjusting their immigration status may apply to travel outside of the U.S.  This type of application is appropriate for those immigrants with a pending adjustment of status application to be able to return to the United States after traveling abroad for business or personal reasons.

Consular Processing

Foreign nationals currently outside of the United States with approved immigration petitions must apply for consular processing to receive permanent residence. This type of application is appropriate for the immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen with an approved family based immigrant visa petition and foreign nationals with an approved employment based immigration visa petition.

Employment Authorization Document:

Immigrants who have applied to adjust their status to permanent resident may apply to obtain an Employment Authorization Document. This application is appropriate for the following individuals: (1) foreign nationals who have filed an application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (Green Card); (2) F-1 students seeking optional practical training in an occupation directly related to their area of studies (M-1 students for practical training after completion of studies), or who are offered off-campus employment under the sponsorship of a qualifying international organization; (3) F-1, M-1 and J-1 students seeking off-campus employment because of severe economic hardship; (4) the spouse and children of J Visa holders; (5) the spouse of E and L Visa holders, (6) K-1 fiancés or fiancées of U.S. citizens, or K-2 dependents; and (7) the spouse and children of foreign government diplomats, officials, and NATO personnel.

Reentry Permit

Permanent residents ("Green Card holders") planning to leave the U.S. for more than a year must obtain a Reentry Permit prior to leaving the country.

Removal of Conditions

Green Card holders who obtained permanent residency based on marriage or investment are subject to conditional residence status for a two years. Conditional Permanent Residents must apply during the 90 days before their second wedding anniversary to remove the conditions on their residence.

Replace or Renew Green Card

Permanent residents may replace a lost, stolen, mutilated, destroyed Green Card; permanent residents may also replace an expired Green Card or one that will expire in six months.

Employment Based Green Cards

Quota Backlog:

The Immigration and Nationality Act sets limits on how many green card visas may be issued each Fiscal Year (October 1 through September 30) in all visa categories. In addition, in the employment-based area where immigration is based on employment and not family relationships or investment, nationals of each country may obtain immigrant visas (i.e., a green card), in different preference categories (i.e., EB-1, EB-2, EB-3). The law further provides that no one country may have more than a specific percentage of the total number of visas available annually. If these limits are exceeded in a particular category, for a particular nationality, a waiting list is created and applicants are placed on the list according to the date of their case filing. This date is called a "Priority Date." The priority date is the single, most important, factor in any immigration case.

Priority Date:

If your category is employment-based and requires a labor certification, the priority date is established on the date a labor certification is filed with the State Workforce Agency. If your category is employment-based but does not require a labor certification, then the priority date is established on the date the CIS receives the I-140 Immigrant Visa Petition. However, the priority date does not attach to your case until the I-140 has been approved.

Why is the Priority Date Important:

In order for an individual to obtain an immigrant visa, a visa number must be available to you. This is referred to as the priority date being "current." The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin. This Bulletin is accessible at . You may sign up online to have the Visa Bulletin automatically e-mailed to you by the State Department each month.

Can Applicant Get Ahead on the Quota Backlog List:

There is no way to get ahead on the list, other than filing an Immigrant Visa Petition in a higher preference category, provided that the individual and/or their position meet the criteria to do so. Otherwise, the individual must wait until eligible to apply along with others on the list before proceeding with filing the last step in the green card process. The last step is accomplished by filing an application to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident in the U.S., or by obtaining an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.

Q & A

  • The I-140 filed on behalf of the applicant was based on a Labor Cert. Substitution. What is the Priority Date: The Priority Date is determined by the CIS. We will know the Priority Date upon issuance of an I-140 Petition Approval Notice.
  • What is the difference between the Visa Category being "U" (Unavailable) and “mm/dd/yy” (Quota Backlog): Unavailable means that there are no more visas available at all for the month. If there is a date noted (i.e. 07-01-02), it is considered to be the cut-off date, and that means that there is a “quota backlog”. Only individuals who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may move forward with the permanent resident process.
  • What does “C” mean:
    “Current” – this means that there is no quota backlog in this category.
  • What does it mean to be "Current":
    If there is a “C” in your employment-based category on the Visa Bulletin, then there is no quota backlog and you may proceed with your I-485 adjustment application or immigrant visa application.
  • If the Visa Bulletin shows a date of 6-1-02 and Applicants' Priority Date is 6-1-02, is applicants' Priority Date Current:
    No. In order for the priority date to be current, it must be a date prior to the date published in the visa bulletin.
  • How often do the Backlogs Change and will they improve:
    Each month, the State Department issues the visa bulletin, usually in the middle of the month. When the bulletin is issued, it will provide information that will take effect on the first day of the following month. (i.e., on 9-12-05, the DOS released the dates effective as of 10-1-05). Depending on the availability of immigrant visas, the priority dates in each category and for each country can change each month. However, please note that the priority dates can also stay the same. They can move very slowly or progress by several months or years. They can move forward or backward. Therefore, there is no way to anticipate what the priority date will be in a future month or when a category will become current.
  • The cut-off date id January 1, 2000. Does this mean that it will take 5 years before the Priority Date will become current:
    No. It all depends on how many visas are used. Please see the answer to the above question.
  • Applicant has an approved I-140 petition with his/her previous employer and applicants' current employer is sponsoring applicant now for a Green Card. What is applicants' Priority Date:
    You may use the Priority Date attached to the approved I-140 Petition. The Priority Date will be printed in the top portion of the Form I-797 Approval Notice. You may use this priority date when you are eligible to file your adjustment or immigrant visa application based on your current employer’s green card process.

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Please refer to the LL.M. Law Group's immigration consultation procedures to begin.

The LL.M. Law Group will work with you to arrive at an arrangement that is fair to all concerned.



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LL.M. Law Group
53 W. Jackson Boulevard
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Chicago, Illinois 60604 

T: (312) 880-0872
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