Our attorneys have years of experience assisting persons in obtaining Naturalization and Green Card Status. In most cases, to be eligible to apply for naturalization, persons must have a green card for at least 5 years, and meet all other eligibility requirements. Please refer to USCIS page for more details.
You may be eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) through your family, a job offer or employment, refugee or asylee status, or a number of other special provisions. In some cases, you may even be able to self-petition or have a record created for permanent residence on your behalf.
In general, to meet the requirements for permanent residence in the United States, you must:
Individuals who want to become immigrants (permanent residents) through their qualified family member, a job offer or employment, or a special category will generally be classified in categories based on a preference system. Except for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen who are given the highest immigration priority, and a few other exceptions, Congress has set a finite number of visas that can be used each year for each category of immigrants. The general categories are listed below.
Some relatives of U.S. Citizens, known as immediate relatives, do not have to wait for a visa to become available. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be utilized in this category in a particular year. Immediate relatives include:
Other relatives of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents have to wait in a preference category for a visa to become available as there are limits to the number of visas issued in each category. Those include:
If you want to apply for a green card (permanent residence) based on the fact that you have a permanent employment opportunity in the United States, or if you are an employer that wants to sponsor someone for a green card based on permanent employment in the United States, you must go through the I-140 process.
If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or the qualifying spouse or child of a refugee, you are required to apply for permanent residence (a green card) one year after your entry into the United States in this status. If you were granted asylum in the United States or are a qualifying spouse or child of an asylee, you may apply for permanent residence one year after the grant of your asylum status.
Although most immigrants come to live permanently in the United States through a family member’s sponsorship, employment, or a job offer, there are many other ways to get a green card.
A number of special immigrant programs are limited to individuals meeting particular qualifications and/or applying during certain time frames. To learn if you may be eligible for one of these special categories, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with an attorney.
All persons applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status must prove to the satisfaction of immigration or consular officials that they are admissible (eligible for admission) to the United States. There are many grounds of inadmissibility that could potentially cause someone to be ineligible to become a permanent resident. For instance, there are health-related, criminal, security-related, and other grounds that USCIS must consider.
In some cases and in certain situations, if you are found inadmissible to the United States you may be eligible to file a waiver on Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility (the form required for most immigrants) or I-602, Application By Refugee For Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (the form required for refugees and asylees) to excuse your inadmissibility.