Green Cards: The Ticket To Permanent Residency
Achieving permanent residency in the United States means first obtaining a green card, referred to officially as a permanent resident card. Green cards allow individuals to work and reside within the country long term. However, securing a green card is not always easy, and there are many different types from which to choose.
At Schwartz Posel Immigration Law Group, we help diverse clients from countries around the world in the pursuit of permanent resident status for themselves and their loved ones. With us at your side, you can rest assured that your green card documents will be filed correctly and on time. Our team will ensure your application adheres to every regulation so that you have the best chance possible of obtaining permanent residency in the U.S.
Our attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience and will be at your side throughout every step of the application process.
What Options Are Available For Obtaining A Green Card?
Our immigration attorneys will help you select the best path to permanent U.S. residency from the following options.
Green Card Through Family
If you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, your family member can help you receive a green card by submitting an I-130 petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. If USCIS approves the petition, you will then be added to a visa waiting list. As visas become available, they are awarded to the family members of U.S. citizens in a specific order of preference, with unmarried, adult children given the highest priority.
After receiving your visa, your U.S. citizen family member may then file a petition to adjust your immigration status to alien permanent resident, which grants you a green card. Alternatively, you may file an application through consular processing in your home country to have your status changed.
Green Card Through Employment
If you have been hired by a U.S.-based employer, then they may petition for you to receive a green card so you may live and work in the United States. However, your employer must first agree to pay you a fair wage and ensure that there are no eligible workers with U.S. citizenship available to fill your position instead. There are a variety of employment-based visas, including:
- EB-1 Visa: If you possess an “extraordinary ability” in business, education, athletics, science or the arts, you may be eligible for an EB-1 visa. Outstanding researchers and intra-company transferees are also eligible.
- EB-2 Visa: Your employer can sponsor you for an EB-2 visa if you hold an advanced degree or if your work could contribute substantially to the United States’ economy, welfare, culture or educational interests.
- EB-3 Visa: You may qualify for an EB-3 visa if you hold a bachelor’s degree, have at least two years of experience as a skilled worker, or have less than two years’ experience in unskilled work but operate in a field for which the United States does not have enough qualified laborers available.
- EB-4 Visa: EB-4 visas are strictly for religious workers. To be an eligible applicant, you must be a member of a religious denomination that has established a nonprofit organization in the U.S. You must also have been a registered member of that nonprofit organization for a minimum of two years before filing an EB-4 visa application.
- EB-5 Visa: If you plan to invest significant capital into an American commercial enterprise, you may be eligible for an EB-5 visa. There are several other steps and qualifications for an EB-5 visa that hopeful applicants will need to keep in mind.
Green Card Through Adoption
If you have adopted a child under 16 years of age from a foreign country and they have lived under your custody for at least two years, then you can file a petition for them to receive a visa. Once obtained, you can then begin the process to have their immigration status updated to permanent resident.
Green Card Through Religious Work
Are you applying to work for a nonprofit religious organization based in the United States? If so, the organization can file a green card petition for you to live and work in the U.S. In order to qualify, you must have been a member of your religious denomination for at least two years and have two years of immediate experience in the same vocation or profession you will be practicing in the U.S.
Green Card Through Refuge Or Asylum
Asylum petitions are available if you entered the U.S. legally or illegally due to fear of persecution, torture or death in your country of origin based on religion, nationality, race or other social factors. The U.S. also grants refuge to a set number of immigrants every year who face war, famine or civil unrest in their home countries.
Refugee and asylum-seeker visas are rare; you must show that your needs are of humanitarian concern and that your fears of harm or persecution are well-founded. If you receive a visa based on asylum or refuge, you may then petition for permanent residency after spending one year in the U.S.
Our Experienced Immigration Attorneys Are Here To Support You
Not sure which type of green card is best for you? Our team is ready to guide you on the path to gaining permanent residency in the U.S. Reach out to our office in Atlanta, Georgia, to learn more about your next steps for obtaining a green card.