Green Card/Permanent Residency
There are several ways an immigration to the U.S. may become a permanent resident. Most individuals choose to obtain green cards through either relative sponsorship or employer sponsorship through either adjustment of status or consular process. However, many others may obtain permanent resident status through the green card lottery, through asylum or through various other means.
Consular Process is a process by which an individual who has entered the U.S. without inspection, may obtain permanent residency. In order to obtain a green card through consular process, an immigrant must be either sponsored by a relative or employer, or be a special immigrant or receive asylum.
The current process for Consular Process requires the applicant for permanent residency to leave the U.S. for his or her country of origin after filing all the required paperwork. Once in his or her country, the applicant must receive a visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to enter into the U.S. If the applicant has illegally entered the U.S., he or she may need to apply for a waiver or pardon for his or her prior unlawful entry into the U.S. Consular Process is often the only option for those who have married U.S. citizens or had U.S. citizen children who now want to stay permanently in the U.S. Unfortunately, this process can be lengthy. Thus, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security developed a new, less lengthy process called Stateside Waiver. To read more about that process, click here.
Adjustment of Status
Those who enter the U.S. with inspection through a visa or who have a pending petition before 2001 under 245(i) may be eligible to apply for an adjustment of status. Additionally, those who enter with inspection who overstay past the expiration date of their visa, may still be eligible for an adjustment of status, however they must meet one of the following requirements, he or she is:
- An “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen;
- Qualify under section 245(i) and pay an appropriate fine;
- Qualify under section 245(k) if they are an employment-based immigrants; or
- Qualify under section 209 if they are asylees or refugees.
Green Card and Permanent Residency Frequently Asked Questions
How do I determine if I am eligible to apply and obtain a green card through a family member?
An individual may be eligible to obtain a green card if the applicant is:
- An immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, which includes the following:
- A spouse;
- An unmarried child under the age of 21; and
- Parents of a U.S. citizen petitioner who is 21 years or older;
- A family member of a U.S. citizen fitting into a preference category, which includes the following:
- Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21;
- Married child(ren) of any age;
- Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21).
- A family member of a green card holder; which includes the following:
- A spouse; and
- An unmarried child of the sponsoring green card holder;
- A member of a special category, which includes the following:
- Battered spouse or child;
- A K non-immigrant;
- A person born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S.;
- A V non-immigrant; or
- A widow or widower of a U.S. citizen.
If you believe you fit within one of these categories and you like help applying or obtaining a green card, but you have additional questions, need help or want to ensure all the paper work is submitted without any delays, please contact our office. We have experienced immigration attorneys who want to help you with the green card and permanent residency process.
How do I determine if I am eligible to apply and obtain a green card through my employer?
There are four primary methods of obtaining a green card through an employer. However, before an immigrant seeking a green card through an employer can apply for a green card, the employer may have to meet certain requirements with the Department of Labor. For example, an employer seeking to employ an immigrant with a certain status must show that there are not enough able, willing and qualified U.S. workers in the geographic location who can fulfill the position and that no U.S. workers are displaced by the foreign workers. In some instances, an employer may seek a foreign employee with extraordinary ability in a certain profession, and investors or entrepreneurs are given priority to immigrate. A foreign worker seeking to obtain a green card through his or her employer, should contact his or her employer has followed the proper steps to obtain a green card for the foreign worker.
The four methods of obtaining a green card through an employer are as follows:
- Green Card Through a Job Offer
- Green Card Through an Investment
- Green Card Through Self Petition
- Green Card Through Special Categories of Jobs
In the event that you believe you fit into one of the above categories and you would like help with your green card application process, please contact our office. We have worked with many foreign workers in the past seeking green cards through their employers. Let us help you make the process less time consuming and stressful for your employer and you.