In the early part of 2010, it was noted that over 12.5 million individuals were lawful permanent residents in the U.S. because they were green card holders. Of those people, a little over 8 million of them had become eligible to pursue citizenship and be a part of the naturalization process. Obtaining a green card is a viable way of becoming a more active part of the U.S. economy and becoming residents rather than temporary visitors.
There are certain requirements set forth by the United States government to determine eligibility for green card status. First of all, individuals must fall into one of the immigrant categories set forth by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This includes achieving green cards through family, job or refugee status. They must also file a qualifying immigrant petition and get it approved as well as have an immigrant visa already available.
Persons must also be able to live in U.S. without having grounds for inadmissibility. Certain things that may prevent someone from receiving a green card under this stipulation include criminal history, having a communicable disease, convicted of terrorist actions or spying, illegal immigrants, having false citizenship documentation, and other various factors. On occasion an attorney may be able to get an appeal from the courts that would allow these kinds of individuals to still obtain a green card. Our office may be able to help you or your loved one if this pertains to their situation.
According to the law, there are three general immigrant categories that allow for persons to receive a green card. They include those that wish to be reunited with their families who are citizens or lawful permanent residents, they wish to become an employee of a U.S. company or they have been given refugee protection.
For many individuals, the most common way to achieve permanent residency is through members of their family. In order to be eligible for this, the individual must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen which entails spouses, unmarried children under 21 and their parents as long as they are 21 or over. Other relationships to a family that include brothers, sisters, unmarried children over 21, and married children may fall under the family preference category of admissibility. If the potential resident is a family member of a green card holder such as a spouse or unmarried child, they may also be suitable. There are other special circumstances for widowers of U.S. citizens, battered spouses and children, both K and V nonimmigrants, as well as children born to foreign diplomats living in the U.S.
Green cards achieved through job situations include a variety of options. Some workers may need to get certification from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that there are not enough U.S. employees that are available or willing to do the job in the immigrant's local area and that they are not displacing American citizens from getting jobs. In more rare situations, workers with specialized skills and abilities may even be brought in and given special clearance to receive green cards.
It is essential that an immigration attorney in Houston be consulted with tricky cases involving green card status related to job opportunities. Those that are considering or wanting to achieve permanent residency this way may run across complicated paperwork and stipulations that are best worked through by a legal professional.
Certain situations allow for persons that have fled their home country to become lawful permanent residents due to the fact that if they return home they will be persecuted or harmed. As a refugee, by law they must request to live in the U.S. permanently after one year of being admitted into the country, but as an asylee this is not required. When either type of individual applies for a green card, they must first fill out the Form I-485. There are additional forms for both categories of people that must also be submitted as well as required fees.
In order to be eligible as a refugee, the person must have lived consistently in the U.S. for at least one year after being admitted, not had their status as a refugee terminated for any reason, and must not already obtain a green card. For individuals granted asylum into the U.S., they may be eligible if they also have lived continuously for a year in the United States, still meet asylee requirements and have not discarded asylee status, are not residing in another country and still meet admissibility requirements.
At The Law Office of Tony E. Parada, our legal team has taken care of hundreds of clients throughout their time of service to the people of Texas. It is evident by our dedication to each client and extensive knowledge with immigration laws that we seek to bring about positive results for anyone who comes to us for legal assistance. We remain passionate about helping immigrants achieve the status they deserve and we understand that people's futures are at stake. Founding attorney, Tony Parada, treats every case as if it were pertaining to him because he is so committed to protecting each and every person's rights. Do not hesitate to contact our office today for assistance.