NEW YORK (Aug. 5)
Israelis in the United States are spending thousands of dollars in order to obtain work permits and to change their visas to permanent resident status. These facts and others concerning the U.S. immigration laws and the Israelis in America were obtained through a series of interviews with Israelis here, most of whom arrived here after the Yom Kippur War.
The permanent resident status entitles its holder to live and work permanently in this country with the option to apply for U.S. citizenship five years from the date the new status was granted. According to those interviewed, the price of a “green card”–the card issued by the U.S. immigration authorities to those who are granted permanent residency status in the U.S.–ranges between $800-$1000. The money is paid to lawyers who handle the legal process of obtaining a “green card.”
“It looks as if a whole industry has developed around the green card business,” a young Israeli, who himself recently obtained a permanent U.S. residency, noted the other day. All the Israelis who were interviewed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency said that they approached their lawyers through a third party, usually another Israeli friend who had his case successfully resolved by the same lawyer. “The names of the ‘good lawyers’ who know how to present a case successfully are spread by word of mouth,” said an Israeli Hebrew teacher, who received her green card on the basis of her profession.
In the opinion of many Israelis it is much more difficult to obtain a “green card” now than it was only a few years ago. But, according to a New York lawyer, who has been handling applications of Israelis for permanent residency in the U.S. for some years now, those who meet the requirements of the immigration authorities have no special difficulties getting the desired “green card.”
A major requirement to qualify for permanent U.S. residency is having an American sponsor–an employer who is willing to sign an affidavit on behalf of the applicant, declaring that the applicant is professionally essential to his company.