How Can I Get a Green Card?

The application process for a Green Card varies depending upon an individual’s particular situation.

Obtaining a Green Card means you will be able to live and work in the United States permanently, not just temporarily. A Green Card is another term for a Permanent Resident Card, which grants permanent residency in the United States and the peace of mind of knowing that you belong here. Having a Green Card does not mean that you have become a U.S. citizen, but it is an important step along the process of obtaining citizenship. The permanent residency process runs through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). How can you get a Green Card and the permanent resident status a Green Card reflects?

What Makes You Eligible for a Green Card?

Applying for permanent residency is how you ultimately obtain a Green Card. This process can also be known as “adjustment of status.” What do you need to do to apply for a Green Card? First, you will need to determine whether you are eligible. Our experienced immigration attorneys can walk you through the procedures that apply to your unique case. There are a number of different categories through which an immigrant can apply for a Green Card, including but not limited to the following:

  • Through a family member;
  • Through employment;
  • Through refugee or asylee status;
  • As a victim of human trafficking or another crime;
  • As a victim of abuse;
  • As a “special immigrant” (such as a child who has been abused, abandoned, or neglected, a religious worker, an international broadcaster, an Afghan or Iraqi translator for the U.S. government, or an employee of an international organization);
  • Through the registry (for those who have resided in the U.S. continuously since 1971 or before); or
  • Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (essentially the U.S. State Department’s visa lottery).

For example, family-based Green Cards are generally available to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives include the spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. Relatives of Green Card holders (permanent residents) may also qualify for a Green Card.

Job-related Green Cards can be based on an offer of employment, investment in a company that creates jobs in the United States, or for filling certain specialized jobs.

There are additional ways through which you may be eligible to apply for a Green Card, and you should always discuss your specific situation with a Nashville immigration attorney.

Filing the Immigrant Petition

For most individuals who are applying for a Green Card, another party needs to file the immigrant petition on their behalf. This other party can be, for instance, a relative or an employer, depending upon how you are eligible to apply for a Green Card.

There are a number of different forms that need to be filled out, and a lawyer can help. Your immigration attorney can also check to see whether there is a visa available in your category (those listed above). Once a visa is available and the required documentation has been submitted, you must file a Form I-485, which the form that needs to be filed for adjustment of status, or Department of State paperwork to obtain an immigrant visa and Green Card. An experienced immigration attorney can help explain which process applies to your case.

Appointments You Need to Keep to Get a Green Card

Once all the necessary paperwork has been submitted, you will need to go to an appointment at your local Application Support Center. There you will have your photograph taken, and you will need to provide your signature and fingerprints. You will receive a notice for your appointment once you file your Form I-485.

In certain situations, you may need to go to an interview at a USCIS office, where you will be required to bring identifying information such as your passport and other relevant travel documents.

Some immigrants must go through the process at a U.S. consulate in their home country instead. Regardless of whether you may adjust your status and get a Green Card in the United States or if you must travel to the consulate to obtain the necessary paperwork, our case managers will help prepare you for your interview, which may reduce your apprehension about the process. We will endeavor to make the process as smooth as possible.

Getting a Green Card at the End of the Process

If you submit all paperwork properly and keep all appointments, you may receive notice that you need to supply additional information. You must comply with any such requests, and you should contact your attorney right away. Once this is done, you can check your case status, and you will receive a written decision from USCIS about whether you have a Green Card.

What Makes Our Green Card Services Different?

The process of getting a Green Card is extremely complicated, and it is important to work with an experienced Nashville immigration attorney on your case. Our lawyers have the experience and the up-to-date knowledge to guide you effectively through the green card process. Furthermore, each family-based and employment-based petition is assigned a case manager at Ozment Law, with whom the citizen, green card holder, or immigrant beneficiary stays in regular contact. Case managers help the family or company gather the right documents and other support to make the application as strong as possible. Contact Ozment Law to get started on your application today.

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