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The road to a green card can be long

For many immigrants in Kentucky, getting a green card represents the peak and pinnacle of their desires. Having that card means you are welcome in the United States, granted permanent residency. Perhaps the next step after that will be full naturalization so that you can enjoy the full rights of U.S. citizenship. The green card opens up an array of possibilities.

The road to green card status is not an easy one. As indicted in our previous post, it might start by getting an employment visa. Because they are limited and based on meeting specific criteria, it can be difficult to get even that. Navigating the sea of immigration laws that currently exist is something to do with the help of an experienced attorney.

The nature of the challenge working immigrants face is illustrated clearly in a recent report produced by the National Public Radio program, Marketplace. What the report highlighted most distinctly was how so many foreign workers covered by some form of work visa live in a level of near constant fear, even when they have the benefit of a legal and hard-to-come-by H-1B visa.

In most cases, the Marketplace reporter said potential interviewees refused to be identified for the piece. The reason for their anxiety was that if they speak out publicly about their situations, their employers might be angry and fire them. Loss of the job would mean loss of the visa. It's understandable that they wouldn't want to roil the waters.

That interdependence goes away when someone has a green card, but as one interviewee for this piece observed, it might take a decade to obtain one. The sooner it comes, the quicker fear disappears.

Even having a valid H-1B can be a drawback. While it gives the holder the right to work in the U.S., it doesn't guarantee a job, and there are employers who would rather pass on a prospective employee than pay the fees and fill out the required paperwork.

What's important to remember is that legal options do exist. Finding the one that might best serve your situation is something worth discussing with a lawyer.

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