Getting a green card gives foreign nationals a lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. They are granted the rights for entry, exit, work, and residency in the U.S., and the privilege to eventually become naturalized citizens. To become a lawful permanent resident, an alien must apply through family-based immigration or work-based immigration. In some instances, one may apply through asylum or refugee status. Foreigners may also apply on their own without a sponsor in certain circumstances. In this article, we have provided information that can guide you in your green card application.
Who Are Eligible for a Green Card?
Before starting your application to become a permanent resident, you must first check if you qualify for any of the categories below and if you meet any of its requirements.
- Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen. Parents, spouses, and unmarried children under age 21 of a U.S. citizen petitioner are eligible to apply for legal permanent residence.
- Other family members of a U.S. citizen. This category includes unmarried children at least 21 years old, married children, siblings who are 21 years old and above, and married individuals with a U.S. citizen parent. In this preference category, only a limited number of green cards are granted and have a first-come, first-served policy.
- Family members of a green cardholder. Unmarried children and spouses of petitioners are eligible to apply in this category.
- Employment Sponsorship. In this category, there are five preferences available, and an alien may apply for permanent residency if they are sponsored by an employer or a prospective employer through a job offer. A foreign national may also apply in this category if they’re an investor or an entrepreneur who will invest in a business that will create new jobs for U.S. citizens. Those who qualify as “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” are eligible to self-petition for a green card. Individuals who are considered special immigrants by the U.S. government and possess specialized jobs such as religious workers, broadcasters, Iraqis, and Afghans employed by the U.S. government are also qualified to apply in this category.
The Application Process
Once you get your immigrant visa and immigrant number, you can begin your petition for lawful permanent resident status and to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.
If you’re currently in the United States, you can apply for an adjustment of status to start the immigration process.
Consular processing, on the other hand, is for foreign nationals who are outside of the United States. Both the beneficiary and the petitioner are notified once a decision has been made regarding the immigration and visa petition.
If you need assistance in your immigration petition, contact our law firm and talk to one of our experienced New Jersey immigration attorneys assist you today.
The Green Card Interview Process
For individuals going through the consular processing, an interview is scheduled by the consular office once a visa is available or once your priority date becomes current. In this interview, they will determine whether you’re eligible for an immigrant visa or not.
In an adjustment of status, the applicant is required to go to an appointment with the Application Support Center (ASC) and to attend an interview with USCIS if necessary.
At Andres Mejer Law, our competent immigration lawyers can handle all the immigration forms and paperwork for your application and avoid unnecessary delays.
Contact us today and let one of our New Jersey immigration attorneys help you in your immigration process.