The first step in applying for permanent residence in the United States, otherwise known as a "green card" is to file a visa petition. If you qualify to immigrate to the US, you'll need a petitioner to sponsor you. A petitioner is usually a family member or your employer who is currently a US citizen. In addition to filling out and filing the correct forms, you and your sponsor will need to provide documentation that proves your relationship and sponsor's current citizenship status. The primary point of filing a visa petition is to prove that a relationship exists between you the petitioner and your sponsor. It is the family member or your employer that must start the visa petition process.
If you are filing an employment-based visa petition, your employer will have to include a copy of the labor certificate and wage statement in your name. Family based visa applications need to include a copy of the sponsor's green card and birth certificate. In both cases, a well-written cover letter should be included that outlines what you are looking to accomplish.
When your visa petition is approved, you have reserved a spot on a waiting list. This is particularly important if you are applying for a visa type where there is a limited number of applicants accepted. This will be your "priority date". The State Department lists which priority dates are being served at any given time. When your date is called you may submit a green card or permanent residence application.
It is important that you hire a New York Visa petition lawyer that is experienced and knowledgeable in helping people such as yourself file a visa petition. Now is not the time to "wing it" and try to go it alone. Being rejected and having to file an appeal can add weeks if not months to the waiting period to get your green card and permanent residence. At Tsiring Law firm, we have the experience of helping hundreds of New York residents file a visa petition correctly the first time.