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Illinois Ranks 13th in the Nation for Green Cards

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on June 09, 2017

Illinois ranks 13th in the nation for the number of green cards issued. In 2015, the immigrant population in Illinois was the 11th highest in the nation with approximately 511,000 undocumented immigrants.

Illinois Immigrants

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 511,000 undocumented immigrants live in the state of Illinois. While the highest concentration is in the suburban Chicago area, immigrants are scattered in different counties throughout the state. Kane County, Lake County, and DuPage County all have immigrant populations of more than 36,000. Latin American and Mexican immigrants make up about 84 percent of Illinois’ undocumented population, with a smaller percentage of Asian immigrants from China, Korea, India and the Philippines.

Three out of five undocumented immigrants in Illinois are between the ages of 25 and 44. Most households include families, and at least one undocumented person, usually a parent or an older relative. Married couples often have one undocumented spouse and one spouse who is a lawful permanent resident with a green card. Illinois undocumented immigrants who are seeking information on immigration status often get advice from the best immigration lawyer in Chicago.

Over the last 20 years, Mexican immigrants have helped Chicago to grow and prosper by taking low-wage, low-skill labor jobs that other residents considered to be less desirable. Most immigrants hold jobs in manufacturing, construction, hotel, and food services industries. In Illinois, an immigrant must maintain regular employment to get a green card.

Getting a Family-Based Green Card in Illinois

Family members who want to get family-based green cards are divided into preference categories, based on their relationship to the person sponsoring them. U.S. citizens may sponsor parents, spouses, brothers and sisters, children and adopted children, and sons and daughters who are married or unmarried. Immediate relatives of United States citizens are not required to wait for an immigrant visa number. It is immediately available and not based on limited quotas. Family members who are not immediate relatives are required to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. Permanent U.S. residents, green card holders, may only sponsor spouses, children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters.

The U.S. has yearly immigrant visa quotas, so there may be a waiting period after the petition for an immigration visa is approved. The best immigration lawyer in Chicago is familiar with preference categories and laws and can explain the specifics of each category: