Immigration – Green Card
The green card (known as a permanent resident) gives the foreign national a right to live and work in the United States. Permanent residency can be obtained in a number of ways:
- Green Card through Employment
- Green Card Through Family
- Other Ways of obtaining a Green Card
Employment based Green Card
The Immigration and Nationality Act makes 140,000 employment-based immigration visas available every year. The employment-based visas are divided into the following 5 categories:
- Employment-Based, First Preference (EB1) – Priority Workers. This category is reserved for:
- Foreign nationals who have demonstrated outstanding ability in the field of science, arts, education, business, or athletics.
- Outstanding Professors and Researchers
- Executives and Managers
- Employment-Based, Second Preference (EB2) – Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees, or Persons of Exceptional Ability
- Employment-Based, Third Preference (EB3) – Skilled Workers, Professionals Holding Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Employment-based, Fourth Preference (EB4) – Special Immigrants.
- Employment-based, Fifth Preference (EB5) – Employment Creation Investors.
Family based Green Card
Family based immigration is divided into the following categories:
- Immediate Relatives of a US Citizen. This includes Spouses, widowers, and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of a US citizen and parents of a US Citizen who is 21 or older.
- Returning Residents. Immigrants who had previously lived in the United States as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the United States after living abroad for more than one year.
The above-mentioned types of family-based immigration visas do not have a yearly quota.
- First Preference. Unmarried children (and their children) of a US citizen. There is a yearly limit of 23, 400 visas for this category.
- Second Preference. Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. There is a yearly quota of 114, 200 for this category.
- Third Preference. Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. There is a yearly limit of 23,400 visas for this category.
- Fourth Preference. Brothers and sisters of Citizens of the United States, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. There is a yearly quota of 65,000 visas reserved for this category.
Other ways of Obtaining Green Cards
Although obtaining a Green Card through employment and family are the most common ways, there are other ways to qualify for a Green Card as described below:
- Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
- K Visa
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Green Card Through Lottery
A Diversity Program mandated by the United States allocates 50, 000 visas per year to nationals from countries with low rates immigration to the United States. The applicants must meet specific requirements including specific skills/work experience.
K – Visa
The K Visa was created to speed up the immigration process for the fiance’ and the children of a US Citizen so that they can accompany them in the United States as soon as possible. For further information on the K-Visa, please see here.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
The SIJ program was created to help foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected and so are unable to be reunited with a parent obtain a green card and live and work in the United States. In order to qualify for a Green Card through the SJI Act, the following condition apply:
- the recipient of the visa must be a dependent of the court or in the custody of a state or private agency or living with a private family. The court order must be in place at the time of filing.
- it is not in the interest of the recipient to their home country or the country they last lived in.
- the recipient cannot be reunited with their parents if they were abused, abandoned, or neglected.
- the recipient must be in the United States at the time of filing the visa.
- the recipient must be under 21 years of age.
- the recipient must be single while the visa is being adjudicated.
The recipient of a Green Card through the SJI program cannot petition for their parents and are only permitted to petition for their siblings until after they have become US citizens.
A person can apply for a Green Card one year after :
- being admitted into the United States as a Refugee or a member of a qualifying family member of the asylee.
- after being granted Asylum in the United States
You must apply for a Green Card 1 year after you are admitted to the United States as a refugee if you:
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year after being admitted as a refugee
- Have not had your refugee admission terminated
- Have not already acquired permanent resident (Green Card) status
The asylee can apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum if they:
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year after being granted asylum
- Continue to meet the definition of an asylee (or continue to be the spouse or child of such asylee)
- Have not abandoned your asylee status
- Are not firmly resettled in any foreign country
- Continue to be admissible to the United States
Removal of Conditions
Under certain circumstances a beneficiary may be granted a conditional permanent residency in the United Stated. The beneficiary may qualify to have these conditions removed by filing an application with the USCIS. Please see here for further information on removal of conditions.
How we can Help
Trupti N Patel & Associates – Immigration Attorney Boston has experience of filing for Green Card in various categories including for Business Immigration, Family Immigration, K-Visa and on behalf of asylees. Please call us at (617) 367-6750 or click here to request a consultation with one of our Immigration Attorneys at our offices in Boston, Massachusetts.
If you are planning on attending an in-person consultation with one our immigration Attorneys, you might like to see the Directions to our Office.
Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
One Boston Place, 201 Washington St #2600, Boston, MA 02108