Obtaining US Immigration Green Card

A U.S. immigration Green Card is another name for a permanent residency card. It is an identification card that provides proof of the individual’s lawful and permanent residency status in the U.S. Obtaining a Green Card affords the individual the right to live and work permanently in the U.S. In addition, a U.S. immigration Green Card means that the holder is legally registered according to United States immigration laws.

A U.S. immigration Green Card is the first step in becoming a naturalized American citizen. Once an individual has a Green Card, he/she has to complete a residency requirement set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Any time spent outside of the country will not apply towards an individual’s residency requirement. Lengthy periods outside the U.S. may disrupt the residency requirement and interfere with the naturalization process of the Green Card holder. If an individual is granted a Green Card and has to leave the U.S. for an extended period, he/she must submit an, "Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes", so the period of absence does not affect his/her residency requirement in a negative way.

An individual that wished to obtain a U.S. immigration Green Card has several options to qualify for permanent residence, they include:

  • Adoption
  • Marriage
  • Petition from Relatives
  • Employer Sponsorship
  • Business Investment (Fifth Preference Green Card or EB-5 to start or invest in an existing business)
  • Green Card Lottery (Random computer-generated drawing that allows the applicant, spouse, and any unmarried children under 21 years-of-age the opportunity to apply for permanent resident status)
  • Special Immigrant (Religious workers, Panama Canal employees, physicians, medical graduates, foreign employees of the U.S. government, retired international employees who have lived in the U.S., certain armed forces members, Afghanis and Iraqis who worked with the U.S., and foreign dependant of U.S. citizens or permanent residents)

According to the USCIS, an individual that hold a US Immigration Green Card can enjoy several benefits including:

  • The right to live permanently in the United States
  • The right to work in the United States
  • The right to travel abroad for a certain period of time
  • The opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain amount of years
  • The right to petition a Green Card for the spouse and unmarried children under 21

Because there are so many ways to obtain a US Immigration Green Card, the process can seem confusing and overwhelming. That is when an immigration lawyer can help you or a loved one get through the process with less to worry and more confidence. A qualified immigration attorney can make sure your application for a Green Card is complete and thorough leaving no room for error or nothing to chance. Consult with an immigration attorney before you submit your application for a US immigration Green Card to give yourself the best possible chance.

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