GREEN CARDS & PERMANENT RESIDENCY

A FLORIDA IMMIGRATION LAWYER IS HERE TO HELP YOU OBTAIN A GREEN CARD

Obtaining a green card is an important step in the process of naturalizing as a United States Citizen. The Atherley Law Firm is here to provide you with legal assistance in obtaining permanent residency. We understand the complexity, confusion, and lengthy-nature that can stem from the green card application process. That process is further compounded by the limited amount of green cards issued by the U.S. government each year. As an experienced Florida Immigration Lawyer, Our goal is to that ensure your immigration experience is a positive one that results in your success.

A United States Permanent Resident Card is the formal name for what is commonly referred to as a green card. Green cards give permanent resident status for 10 years and allow the holder of the permanent resident card to live and work within the U.S. without fearing removal or deportation during that period of time. Additionally, green card holders can also travel freely in and out of the United States for specified amounts of time. Contact us for a specialized Florida immigration lawyer.

Individuals that want to become permanent residents through their qualified family member, employment, or a special category such as asylum or refugee status, will generally be classified in categories based on a preference system. An immediate relative of a United States citizen is given the highest immigration priority. Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children.

Congress has allotted a set number of visas that can be used each year for each category of immigrants that are not considered immediate relatives. Contact us for a specialized Florida Immigration Lawyer.

BENEFITS TO OBTAINING GREEN A CARD

  1. ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO LEGALLY LIVE IN THE U.S.
  2. ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO LEGALLY WORK & STUDY IN THE U.S.
  3. ABILITY TO TRAVEL IN & OUT OF U.S. FOR SPECIFIED PERIODS
  4. SPONSORSHIP OF OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS IS POSSIBLE
  5. ABILITY TO BUY HOME & PROPERTY
  6. ABILITY TO OWN YOUR OWN COMPANY
  7. ABILITY TO APPLY FOR U.S. CITIZENSHIP AFTER 5 YEARS
  8. VALID FOR 10 YEARS
  9. RENEWABLE

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR GREEN CARDS

To become a permanent resident, a Florida immigration lawyer can help an applicant must meet these basic requirements:

  • BE ADMISSIBLE TO THE UNITED STATES
  • BE ELIGIBLE FOR AN ESTABLISHED IMMIGRANT CATEGORY
    • Immediate Relative of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Resident
    • Other Relatives of U.S. Citizens
    • Preferred Employees & Workers
    • Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery
    • Special Immigrant Categories
  • HAVE A QUALIFYING IMMIGRANT PETITON FILED & APPROVED
  • HAVE AN IMMIGRANT VISA IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE

A FLORIDA IMMIGRATION LAWYER GIVES YOU WAYS TO OBTAIN A GREEN CARD & ESTABLISH PERMANENT RESIDENCY

Eligibility to apply for a green card and establish permanent residency can be obtained through family, employment, lottery, asylum status, refugee status, or through self-petition, if applicable.

  • SPONSORSHIP BY FAMILY MEMBER:

Family members that are U.S. citizens can petition for immediate relatives or other family members. Immediate relatives include a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, and parents. Immediate relatives always have a visa number available. Family members that are not immediate relatives can be sponsored through the family preference category.

  • SPONSORSHIP BY EMPLOYER:

An offer of permanent employment in the United States by an employer makes qualified individuals eligible for permanent residency. Employers are usually required to first obtain a labor certification and file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

  • GREEN CARD LOTTERY:

Diversity Lottery Citizenship applies to foreign nationals of certain countries, which allows those nationals the opportunity to obtain immigrant visas through the Diversity Visa Program. Through this lottery, applicants do not need sponsorship to petition on their behalf and instead, can apply themselves. A specific amount of immigrant visas are issued by the United States on a yearly basis and only nationals of designated countries qualify for these visas.

  • INVESTMENT BY ALIEN ENTREPRENEUR:

To qualify as an alien investor the alien must invest in a new commercial enterprise. The amount of the investment must be at least $1,000,000.00. If the investment is in a targeted employment area, the investment must be at least $500,000.00

  • THROUGH ASYLUM OR REFUGEE STATUS:

Refugees and Asylees can establish permanent residency. Refugees are required to apply for permanent resident status after 1 year of being admitted to the U.S. Asylees are not required to apply for permanent resident status after the one-year period.

  • SELF-PETITION:

Self-petition means a person is permitted to file for themselves. Some immigrant categories such as Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, and individuals granted a National Interest Waiver allow for self-petitions.

IMPORTANT GREEN CARD CONSIDERATIONS

  • NOT CITIZENSHIP: Green cards do not provide citizenship status, only permanent residency status. After receiving the permanent resident status, many restrictions and responsibilities must be adhered to in order to avoid losing the green card status, removal, or deportation.
  • REVOKABLE:Green cards are revocable for a variety of reasons including crimes committed, fraud, abandonment of permanent residence, and voting as a U.S. citizen. In these cases you may also be subject to removal and deportation proceedings.
  • ISSUED FOR SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME: Generally, green cards are issued for a 10 year period, and the green card holder is able to apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years of continuous permanent residency.
  • LIMITED TRAVEL PERIODS: While green card holders are able to travel outside of the United States, any time abroad that lasts over 6 months may disrupt the continuous residency and physical presence requirement for citizenship. Additionally, anything over 1 year may require a re-entry permit.
  • TAXES: Green card holders are responsible for filing and paying federal, state, and local taxes just as U.S. citizens are required to pay taxes.

GREEN CARD APPLICATION PROCESS

A petition establishes the underlying basis for your ability to immigrate and determines your immigrant classification or category. Some categories of immigrants may be able to self-petition. Most people immigrating based on humanitarian programs are exempt from the petition requirement.

    1. SATISFY INITIAL ELIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY
    2. EMPLOYER, RELATIVE, OR IN SPECIAL CASES, APPLICANT FILES PETITION ON BEHALF OF BENEFICIARY

a. EMPLOYMENT BASED PETITION (I-140)
b. FAMILY BASED PETITION (I-130)

  1. COMPLETE & SIGN IMMIGRANT PETITION
  2. VISA AVAILABILITY
  3. APPLICATION TRANSFERRED TO THE NATIONAL VISA CENTER
  4. ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS or CONSULAR PROCESSING FORMS
  5. ATTEND INTERVIEW AT U.S. CONSULATE OR USCIS OFFICE
  6. RECEIVE VISA or ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS UPON APPROVAL
  7. PERMANENT RESIDENCY ESTABLISHED

PATHS TO LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENCY

  • ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS:

For people living within the United States, visas are usually issued through the Adjustment of Status process. During Adjustment of Status processing, a qualified applicant becomes a lawful permanent resident without having to travel abroad and apply for an immigrant visa at their home consulate. Failure to maintain lawful status, incorrectly filed applications, can result in rejection or trigger deportation or removal proceedings.

  • CONSULAR PROCESSING:

For people living outside of the United States, visas are issued through consular processing. The beneficiary that lives abroad must apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad, generally in their home country. During consular processing, once the petition is approved, the USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa when a visa is available under the visa bulletin.

  • CONCURRENT FILING:

Some immigrant petitions can be filed at the same time as the adjustment application, while other categories of immigrants will be required to wait until they have an approved petition before being allowed to apply for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa. This is known as concurrent filing.

WHEN VISA NUMBERS ARE UNAVAILABLE

In some cases, the demand for a particular visa category or foreign state is more than the supply and cannot be satisfied within the allowable limits. When this occurs, the visa office usually imposes a cut-off date. When a cut-off date is issued, only consular processing and adjustment applicants who have a priority date earlier than the date listed in the Visa Bulletin may be given an immigrant visa number.

CONSULT A KNOWLEDGEABLE GREEN CARD FLORIDA IMMIGRATION LAWYER

To obtain legal assistance in establishing permanent residency and obtaining a green card, speak with an immigration attorney at Atherley Law Firm. We strive to help you obtain a green card in the most efficient and effective way possible while explaining your rights and options related to immigration law. For a free initial consultation from a Florida Immigration Lawyer, call us today at (407) 459-7046, contact us online, or schedule your own consultation.

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