US Citizenship and Immigration Services

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Applying for a green card

Need to Apply for a Green Card?

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Need a Green Card?

Have you always thought “Do I qualify for a green card” but don’t know if you do? Maybe you have been in the United States for many years and have children who are U.S Citizens. It is very important to know your options and to talk to expert attorneys who can streamline the process of obtaining your green card.

We have handled numerous cases that involve citizenship and naturalization. We are 100% committed to protecting the rights of those who are seeking legal status.

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Green Card Frequently asked questions

No, you do not need an immigration lawyer to apply for a green card. Hiring an attorney will make the process easier for you so that we can worry about deadlines and any court appearances so that you don’t have to! Immigration Forms are complicated and can make the difference between a long process and an easy short one. You might be spared headaches and unnecessary stress that might result from a form that is not properly filled out. Sometimes mistakes are so serious that they could lead to deportation or in the less serious cases, a very long delay for obtaining your green card.

A Permanent Resident Card, more commonly known as a green card, is a legal document that allows an immigrant to permanently live and work in the United States. A person with a green card can stay in the U.S. indefinitely. Obtaining a green card is not the same as U.S. citizenship. A green card makes the holder a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

With a green card, you cannot be deported from the United States based on the grounds of deportability. However, if you committed fraud when applying for U.S. citizenship, the government can revoke your citizenship. With a green card, on the other hand, you can be deported for certain crimes and other grounds. You also will not qualify for a U.S. passport with a green card, but you will with U.S. citizenship. Finally, you cannot vote with a green card, but you can with citizenship.

Becoming an LPR is often the first step toward immigrating to the U.S. Unless you were born in the U.S., born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent or living in the U.S. as a minor when a parent naturalized, you must receive a green card and then apply for residence. After obtaining a green card, you will most likely have to wait about five years before applying to become a U.S. citizen. This process is called naturalization.

Green card eligibility requirements can include the following:

  • Have a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved by USCIS
  • Have immediate family members, such as a spouse or parent, who are U.S. citizens
  • Have an employer who can prove your exceptional ability, and that there is a shortage of U.S. workers to fill the position that you are applying for
  • Have refugee or asylum approved status
  • Be admissible in the U.S.

It all depends on your particular situation and you can obtain a green card through family, through an employer, through asylum, and if you’re lucky, through the green card lottery.

If you are granted a  green card, you will have the authorization to legally live and work in the U.S. permanently. As proof of your legal status, you will be given a permanent resident card, commonly known as a “green card.”

  • The first thing is to figure out under which category you are applying under. For example, are you applying through a family member? Or Employment? After this is determined, you must file the correct forms. Applicants have to submit an application and someone else must “sponsor” you.
  • There are two main processes for obtaining a green card: adjustment of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consular processing with the U.S. Department of State. The first option is only appropriate if you are already in the United States, while the second option works when you are outside of the United States.
  • If you are not in the United States, you must file an application with the Department of States. You will then get a visa when it becomes available. You must also attend an interview

The short answer is: It depends! Generally speaking and on average, it takes about two to three years from beginning to end. It can certainly take more than three years to obtain a green card, depending on any issues with the petition.