A Green Card grants an immigrant permission to become a lawful U.S. permanent resident. Furthermore, it makes him or her eligible to possess nearly all of the same rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens. Green Cards are highly sought after and the application process is extremely involved. Before going through the Green Card application process, it is a good idea to explore whether or not you qualify for a Green Card.
Qualifications for a Green Card
To apply for a green card, you must fall into one of the categories of eligibility. Each category has its own specific requirements and how to apply for a Green Card. Each category also has specific rules regarding whether or not members of your family may apply with you. Essentially, you may be eligible to apply for a Green Card, also referred to as a Permanent Resident Card, through such qualifying means as your family, employment or offer of employment, refugee status, asylum status, and other special provisions.
The general requirements to obtain a Green Card include:
- Eligibility for an immigrant category established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
- Having a qualifying immigrant petition that is, with some exceptions, filed and approved for you;
- Having an immediately available immigrant visa; and
- Being admissible to the U.S.
People commonly apply for a Green Card through family. You may be eligible if you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, but you must be a spouse of a U.S. citizen, an unmarried child who is under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen, or a parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age. Other relatives of a U.S. citizen may qualify for a family-based Green Card category such as an unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years or older, a married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen, or a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen who is a minimum of 21 years of age.
You may also qualify for a Green Card under the family category if you are a fiancé of a U.S. citizen or the fiancé’s child. However, you must have been admitted to the U.S. under a K-1 nonimmigrant or K-2 nonimmigrant visa. Widows and widowers of U.S. citizens may also qualify for a Green Card if they were married to the U.S. citizen spouse at the time the spouse died.
Other individuals who may qualify for a Green Card include:
- Special immigrants
- Those with refugee or asylee status
- Victims of human trafficking and other crimes
- Abuse victims
There are other categories of immigrants who may qualify for a Green Card. Another one of the most popular categories is for those seeking a Green Card through employment. Remember, every category has its own specific set of requirements and application process.
Green Card Application Attorneys
If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at email@example.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.