Green Cards: Lawful Permanent
Residency in the United States
Table of Contents
What Is A Green Card?
A green card offers a permanent solution when building a life in the states, because they make you officially a “lawful permanent resident” in this country. Green cards don’t automatically grant citizenship but will allow you to live and work in the United States indefinitely. For many, they are also an important step towards ultimately becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.
The path towards getting a green card can be complicated and stressful. So, it’s important to know about the benefits of having a green card, green card eligibility, how to get one, which green card applications are usually rejected, and why it’s so important to work with an attorney through the process.
“D’Alessio Law Group provided phenomenal client service while delivering successful results during the approval of both my O-1 Visa and Green Card (immigration from Canada to the United States of America).
Leslie, Lorraine, and Kelly are notable for their vast range of experience and reliable response times during the lengthy and often daunting immigration process.”
Joseph Procopio – Google Review
What Are the Benefits of Having a Green Card
While having a green card won’t make you a U.S. citizen, it is a step towards citizenship. Green card holders can apply for citizenship after five years, and if you are a green card holder and married to a U.S. citizen, it could be even sooner. There are several benefits to being a lawful permanent resident.
Who is Eligible for a Green Card?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services lists several specific categories that could make you eligible for a green card. Your lawyer can help you figure out which category best fits your own situation.
- Green card through family including being the immediate relative of a citizen or permanent resident
- Green card through employment including being an immigrant worker or an immigrant investor
- Green card as a special immigrant including being a religious worker or an employee of an international organization
- Green card through refugee status or asylee status if you were granted asylum or were admitted as a refugee at least one year ago
- Green card for human trafficking and crime victims if you currently hold a T nonimmigrant visa or a U nonimmigrant visa
- Green card for victims of abuse such as a Special Immigrant Juvenile or the abused spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Green card through other categories including being an American Indian born in Canada or the child of a foreign diplomat officer
- Green card through registry if you have lived in the U.S. continuously since before January 1, 1972.
Typically, the USCIS requires you to have a sponsor within the U.S. to apply for a green card. Usually, a sponsor is a family member or an employer. A sponsor is asked to submit an Affidavit of Support, which means that they accept financial responsibility for you until you either become a citizen or have worked for ten years.
Keep in mind, not everyone can be a sponsor. They must be able to prove that they have enough income to support themselves, their own dependents as well as you.
At a minimum, they must make at least 25 percent over the existing Federal Poverty Guidelines. USCIS will also make sure that the sponsor is over 21 years old. All of this can seem complicated, but your lawyer will explain all the details.
Who Is Barred From Getting a Green Card?
There are many reasons why people may not be eligible to apply for a green card. These reasons include:
- Illegal or unauthorized employment
- Ties to terrorist activities or terrorists
- Criminal convictions either in the U.S. or abroad
While there could be legal strategies to help people even if they would typically not be allowed a green card, working with an experienced immigration lawyer may be their only chance at legal permanent residency. Ultimately, the best way for you to determine if you are eligible for a green card is to talk to a skilled immigration lawyer with a strong understanding of the entire green card process.
Why You Need an Immigration Lawyer if You Want a Green Card
Experienced immigration lawyers are crucial to having a higher chance of success in all immigration legal matters, including when it comes to green cards. You can’t afford to have your dream of permanent residency in the U.S. slip away because of an error or omission on your application.
The path to obtaining a green card only begins with the application. You will likely also need help preparing for your interview. The interview is often the most nerve-wracking element to the green card process and an immigration lawyer can help you practice answering common questions. Additionally, an experienced immigration lawyer will help you gather necessary documents and evidence at every important step. Your chances of approval are significantly improved if you hire an experienced lawyer to help you through the process.
Experienced Immigration Attorney in California
D’Alessio Law has hundreds of years of combined experience in immigration law and have helped over 20,000 clients through tough immigration challenges. We offer transparent pricing so that your journey to permanent residency is as stress-free as possible. Plus, we have flexible payment options. So, if you are trying to get your green card or have other immigration-related legal needs, contact us today!
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Btw got my visa after 2 weeks that they send my paperwork!”