The green card application process is a long and hard road and for good reason. The US government has a duty to make sure that they are only allowing visas to the highest quality and most worthwhile individuals. Also, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror many of the paths to legal residency have become more difficult. This is why it is so important to understand the process inside and out and to also have a source of reliable help in your back pocket for helping you navigate the intricacies of this process.
For starters, the path you are taking in applying for a green card will determine which of the federal forms you will need to file in order to obtain your green card. This can be tricky to navigate but the links on this page will guide through you through the process in a relatively simple manner.
Determining Your Green Card Eligibility
The main routes to green card eligibility are applying through a family member, because of a job or an employment offer, if you are seeking refugee or asylum status and a host of other more specialized reasons. In certain instances you can even self petition, but this is pretty rare. To meet the requirements for a green card you must:
- Be admissible to the United States
- Have a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved
- Be eligible under one of the immigrant categories laid out by Federal Law
- Have an immigrant visa presently available
Understanding the best category for your particular situation will make applying for a green card a much simpler and more streamlined process. Below you will find a basic guide for understanding categories and the links on this page will further help you navigate this often tricky process.
The most common category is the family based which allows for a family member to petition on your behalf. To qualify for this route you must be an unmarried child of a US citizen under the age of 21, a parent of a US citizen (citizens must be 21 years old to petition for their parents) or the spouse of a US citizen. Each of these particular categories is given a preference and this is another reason you should have reputable help in this process, with first preference going to the unmarried children of a citizen.
When determining how long it will take to secure a green card through the job route it is important to understand the preferences. First preference is given to priority workers or those with special abilities, second to people holding an advanced degree, third to skilled and professional workers, fourth preference to certain special individuals including those involved with religion and fifth to investors or entrepreneurs who are able to create US jobs.
If you are seeking to apply for a green card by using immigration refugee or asylum status then you will need to apply for a green card one year after entering the United States. Understanding the green card requirements is by no means a simple undertaking but with the right help it can be a manageable process.
US immigration law and agencies have a myriad of different forms that can be used to apply for a green card, renew a green card, replace a lost or stolen green card, to adjust immigration status or even to apply under the family, job or refugee paths to citizenship. The links on this page are the sure fire way to make sure that you are doing things correctly and reduce your wait time and the inherent stress involved in the process.