Settling in the United States with a permanent residency is the dream of all those immigrants who decided to move from their country of origin to obtain a better quality of life.
There are different ways to obtain a Permanent Resident Card, better known as Green Card.
On the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) we can find more than 20 options to become a resident of the United States.
The Green Card in most cases is valid for 10 years and includes multiple benefits such as a Work Permit, the possibility to petition for different members of our family, such as spouses, children, parents, and siblings, and once we have been a permanent resident for a certain period we can start the naturalization process.
USCIS receives more than six million applications for a permanent residency each year.
Mexico is the country of origin of more than 24 percent of Green Card holders.
What Are The Benefits Of Obtaining A Green Card?
The benefits that an immigrant can obtain through the Green Card are enormous.
First, the immigrant obtains the legal right to live and work here in the United States permanently.
You have the opportunity to travel outside the United States on the condition that you do not stay outside the country for more than six months.
Also, Green Card holders can sponsor immediate relatives to obtain their residency, and this is a great privilege being a resident within the country. This is a great privilege to be a resident of the country.
Most importantly, after obtaining the Green Card, the immigrant can apply for U.S. citizenship within three to five years of having their Green Card in hand.
One of the many benefits of being a U.S. citizen is also having the right to be able to vote and stay permanently without being deported.
Green Card Categories
When we talk about the categories of the Green Card, we are talking about 20 ways to obtain this residency.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Firm we categorize the ways to obtain this residency in 5 ways: blood, sweat, tears, luck, and money.
By blood, through the family. Sweat, through work being an employee or employer. Tears, related to humanitarian cases. Luck, due to the annual Green Card lottery. Money is a large investment, we are talking about millions of dollars.
They will talk about who cannot get the Green Card depending on what category because each category has its eligibility list and within that, if one is not eligible, because maybe they have for example a criminal record; each category also has the opportunity to ask for a waiver.
People who cannot get a Green Card are people who are ineligible for some reason because something happened in their specific case, and in addition, they are not eligible for some type of waiver, and this happens with most people who have a criminal record, but it depends on the crime and everything that happened in their history.
What Is The Green Card Lottery?
The Green Card lottery is also known as the Diversity Visa and is a program created to increase the diversity of immigrants in the United States.
This Visa is based on immigrants from countries that are not normally immigrating to the United States, so for countries like Mexico, Mexicans are not eligible for this Visa.
Most immigrants who are eligible come from Europe or Africa, but in Latin America, for example, countries like Peru or Ecuador can register in this lottery, they choose the people who registered in October, and in November they randomly choose people so that they do not have to apply for the Green Card.
Can Citizens Or Residents Petition For Sons Or Daughters Of Their Ex?
Generally, yes. When a person says children, that term has a very particular definition for immigration.
A child counts as a biological child, but stepchildren also count only when the person marries the mother or father of that child before he or she has reached the age of 18.
Adopted children also count if the adoption is completed before they reach 16 years of age.
If you are seeking to petition for the child you had with your ex-partner, they ares still your biological child, so you can apply for your child in this case.
How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Green Card For Humanitarian Visas?
It depends on what immigration status to be in the United States the immigrant had.
In times of waiting to obtain the Green Card, we have as an example humanitarian cases such as Asylum and Refuge which are usually granted within one year.
We also have the U Visa for people who have been victims of a crime, or the U Visa for people who have been victims of a crime, T Visa for people who have been victims of human trafficking, and these waiting times are approximately three years.
In the case of immigrant children who entered the U.S. without their parents, they may opt for the SIJS. The time it takes to obtain a Green Card depends, although it is usually immediate if a Visa is already available.
We are generally seeing a lead time of about three years.
If I Have A Work Permit Can I Get My Green Card?
Yes, you can, but something very important to mention is that a Work Visa and a Work Permit are different things. a Work Visa and a Work Permit are different things.
A Work Visa is a visa program such as the H-1B or H-2A.
So, a person can obtain their Green Card, as long as the employer is doing that immigration process for the person, because it is the employer who does that process for the work-based Green Card.
If it is a Work Permit, you need to call Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Firm to find out more about the basis of that Work Permit, and whether you can apply for a Green Card through it.
Can A College Student Obtain A Green Card Through The Employer?
Normally, when a person goes through the Green Card process within the United States, it is called an adjustment of status, because the person is adjusting from one type of status to another.
If the person does not have status in the United States, they will have to leave the country to complete this process, because their status cannot be adjusted while in the United States.
Generally, you can, but most likely (depending on the specific case of the immigrant) you will have to leave the country.
When Parents Petition Their Children Is Waiver Necessary?
The waiver is requested for time spent in the United States without authorization, and this is only a requirement of the Green Card, but the truth is that there are several requirements.
If the person was in the country illegally and undocumented and the 10 years have passed, it depends on other factors in the person’s history, whether they were apprehended at the border, whether they had any type of encounter with immigration.
If I Have Already Been Fingerprinted, How Long Does It Take To Get My Work Permit?
If it is through the Green Card there may be a waiting time of approximately 3 to 6 months from what we are currently seeing.
When a person applies for a residency, he or she is also applying for a Work Permit, because an immigrant can have a Work Permit while the Green Card process is underway.
Sometimes we have noticed that the Green Card arrives and with this document the person can obtain a job.
It is also necessary to take into account the type of immigration case that is being carried out because for example the DACA program does not take as long, and for the U Visa it takes much longer.
How Can They Take Your Green Card?
There are 2 types of residencies or Green Cards, those that last 2 years or those that last 10 years. If you are talking about the two-year Green Card, There is a special process to remove those two years and convert it into a 10-year Green Card.
It is a different process if it is a 10-year Green Card, as that means you have the permanent card as long as you meet the requirement.
It is thanks to this that he is in the name of the resident. If a person resides here in the United States permanently, they will always have that immigration status, but if they move to another country, they would no longer be a resident of the United States because they put their status at risk.
If the permanent resident commits a crime, it can be very serious because their Green Card can also be taken away.
What If I Apply For Citizenship But My Green Card Is Going To Expire?
The actual expiration date is not of the permanent resident status but the Green Card as such, the plastic card.
If your card expires it will not take away your permanent resident status, but it is important to have this identification in effect.
It is not a requirement nor is it necessary to have a valid Green Card to begin the U.S. citizenship process.
If a person plans to travel, then it is necessary to have an unexpired Green Card, as this is how the person will be allowed to return at the border.
How To Travel Outside The U.S. Being A Permanent Resident?
The immigration law states that the only but very important thing that a permanent resident must do is to have their immigration status verified when traveling.
Permanent residents may travel safely as long as such travel is not longer than six months.
If the immigrant is a refugee or was granted asylum, they should not normally return to their country of origin. They are precisely asking for asylum because they are afraid to return. If they return, they run the risk that the government may make decisions about their status.
If you are planning to travel for more than 6 months it would be advisable to discuss your trip with a reputable immigration attorney.