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Kentucky Immigration Law Blog

You can obtain a green card through employment

If you are living in Kentucky, there are many ways you can become a permanent United States resident, even if you were not born here. At Vickerstaff Law Office, PSC, our team is experienced working through the immigration system. We help clients understand the complex requirements of getting green cards through employment and family relationships.

A green card confirms that the cardholder can legally work and live in the United States. To maintain your permanent residency status, renewals must be filed, and specific conditions met. The simplest way to get a green card is if you have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or have other family members who are permanent residents. According to FindLaw, individuals who have professional skills that are in demand may also be eligible for a green card. 

How long does the asylum process take?

If you are filing for asylum in the United States, one of your top concerns may be how long the process will take. If you are living in Kentucky, you may be using a field office, which is one of the factors that can affect how much time it takes to get to your application. Find about that that and the other factors that can influence the timeframe.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the application process can take 180 days or longer. The USCIS has a schedule that it follows to ensure the process runs smooth and you get your determination as quickly as possible.

Does marriage guarantee citizenship in the U.S.?

If you live in Kentucky and want to become a United States citizen, you may think marriage is the best route. Naturalization, or the process of becoming a citizen, can occur through marriage, but you must meet a number of other requirements laid out by the government. Also, there are other factors involved that may lead to deportation even when you follow the guidelines.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet before qualifying for naturalization. These include:

  • Being a green card holder for a minimum of three years
  • Being married to the same person for the same time you have had your green card
  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Having lived in the jurisdiction district or state for a minimum of three months before applying
  • Being present physically in the country for a minimum of 18 months out of the three years
  • Not leaving the country between the time of the application filing and naturalization approval
  • Being in good moral and legal standing
  • Being knowledgeable of civics and having the ability to speak, write and read English 

Attorneys helping to protect Russian immigrant's rights

There are many immigration detention facilities throughout the nation, including some in Kentucky. If you are an immigrant or have friends or relatives who are, you may be aware that many detention centers are falling short of acceptable safety and health conditions. In fact, news headlines often include stories of filth, negligence, abuse, and illnesses and injuries immigrants have suffered at the hands of immigration agents.  

A Russian man in another state who is currently detained decided to go on a hunger strike to protest the ill treatment he and his fellow inmates have suffered. He has not eaten for nearly 30 days and is not alone in his actions; as many as 60 immigrants have joined in solidarity to participate in the strike to raise awareness that they deserve better medical care. Attorneys have taken action to protect the man's First Amendment rights, and such support is available for anyone facing similar problems.

How is immigration court different?

If you are called into immigration court in Kentucky, you should understand what to expect. Immigration court is much different than other courts. The rules are not the same, and your rights are not the same. This court is much different in many aspects. Understanding this can help you a lot when you are heading to court. You can be better prepared to handle the situation and know what to expect.

According to Pacific Standard, one of the biggest differences with immigration court is that it is ran by the attorneys in the Department of Justice. It is not a part of the judicial branch like other courts. This court has high case loads and lower budgets than other courts. It also has far less administrative support. This means cases can take longer to get through the system and may also be rushed. It may also be more difficult to get information when you need it.

Reasons that you may consider getting a work permit

You have been given an opportunity to come to the United States to work, but will need to acquire adequate permission to do so before you are allowed entry. By following outlined procedures and being thorough in your application process, you can work with confidence and broaden your knowledge of a new country. Because this opportunity allows you the chance to discover, strengthen and learn new skills, it is critical that you do what is necessary to enter into the country. At Vickerstaff Law Office, PSC, we have helped many people in Kentucky to understand more about how immigration law works. 

Because the process of applying for a work permit may take some time to complete, it is important that you plan ahead to make sure you have everything you need before your employment is scheduled to begin. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must have a legitimate green card or work permit before you will be allowed to legally seek employment in the U.S. Some of the reasons you may consider applying for a work permit include the following:

  • Whether or not you have received authorization to work solely for a specific company. 
  • Whether or not you are a student who is here on an exchange opportunity or for school.

Gathering supporting documents to apply for citizenship

As diversification grows in Kentucky, there are many families with couples who come from significantly different backgrounds. Often, the circumstances under which they met and were wed are unconventional compared with times past. In cases where one of the parties is a U.S. citizen, but the other is not, the process of getting citizenship for the immigrant party can be lengthy and confusing. However, when proactive efforts are made to get the process underway as soon as possible and attention is paid to following the process exactly, naturalization may be more productive and efficient. 

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, spouses of U.S. citizens must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for naturalization which will ultimately lead to citizenship. Some of the requirements are that they must be married to and living with their spouse who is a citizen, and they must provide proof that they have maintained a legitimate green card for at least three years. 

What are my rights and responsibilities as a citizen?

As a newly naturalized citizen of the U.S. you’re probably excited about life in a new country. However, you should be aware that as a citizen you have certain responsibilities, as well as certain inalienable rights that all Americans have access to. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offer the following information so you can exemplify those qualities that make an upstanding citizen of this nation.

In terms of responsibilities, being an informed and active member of your community is a duty of all citizens. This entails getting involved on a local level when it comes to things like elections, which can have a great impact on your way of life. It’s also important that you are a law-abiding citizen, which entails respecting the rules and regulations of this country and participating in civic duties (such as paying taxes).

Tips on adjusting to life in a new country

If you’re a recent immigrant in Louisville, KY, you may find adjusting to your new life rather difficult. After all, moving to a new country can be a bit of a culture shock, both for you as well as the other members of your family who’ve also made the journey. The following information will help you adjust to your new environment so that you can thrive both personally and professionally.

According to, culture shock entails a few different stages. At first, you’re likely to fall in love with your new country thanks to the excitement of living in a foreign nation. After so you long you may feel frustrated, especially when it comes to language and cultural barriers. Differences can be very intimidating at first glance, particularly when compared to your home country. At some point you’ll become acclimated to your new surroundings, which will facilitate a better understanding of this country as well as Americans.

Federal judge threatens officials with contempt in asylum case

Many immigrants seeking asylum in Kentucky continue to monitor United States immigration policy. Even when there are similarities between cases, it may be difficult to know whether changes will have an adverse effect on their individual situations.   

According to the Washington Post, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., recently threatened to charge the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General with contempt of court unless the government returned an asylum seeker and her daughter, deported to El Salvador, to the United States without delay. The mother and daughter allegedly fled El Salvador for fear of gang violence and domestic abuse. Law enforcement had held the two in a family detention center in Dilley, Texas, upon their arrival to the United States. The mother is a plaintiff in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed on August 7th that challenges a recent Department of Justice policy change restricting asylum on the grounds of threats of domestic abuse or gang violence in the asylum seeker's country of origin.