What are the Eligibility Requirements to Obtain a Green Card?

Our Tennessee immigration attorney explains the categories for receiving a green card and other requirements.

A green card, otherwise known as a permanent residency card, allows people born in other countries to live and work permanently in the United States. It is often one of the first steps on the pathway toward citizenship, but obtaining a green card can be a long and complicated process. One of the initial challenges is determining eligibility. Our Tennessee immigration attorneys explain common categories that may entitle you to a green card, as well as other basic requirements.

Green Card Categories That Determine Eligibility

Green cards are issued through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These entitle you to live, work, and move freely throughout the country and, after five years (or less, depending on the circumstances), allow you to apply for U.S. citizenship. There are numerous categories under which you may be eligible to get a green card. These include:

There are also situations in which people have been living and working in the U.S. for decades without legal status can apply for permanent residence. Persons may be eligible for residence through the “registry” if they have been continuously present in the United States since January 1972.

Other Green Card Eligibility Requirements

Falling under one of the above eligibility categories is just the first step toward obtaining a green card. Persons eligible for adjustment of status (obtaining their permanent residence inside the United States) apply on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Requirements as part of this process include:

While it is more convenient to obtain permanent residency through adjustment of status, inside the United States, not all applicants for permanent residency are legally eligible to obtain their permanent residence through adjustment of status. Instead, those immigrants must obtain their “immigrant visa” through consular processing, by undergoing an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States. Then, after those persons approved at their interviews are admitted to the United States, their green cards arrive by mail. An experienced immigration attorney with knowledge of the Immigration and Nationality Act can determine whether an immigrant is eligible for adjustment of status or should apply for an immigrant visa through the consular process.

Contact Our Tennessee Immigration Lawyer

There are numerous eligibility requirements you must meet to obtain a green card. To get the trusted legal help you need throughout the application process, reach out to Ozment Law PLC. Call or contact us online and request a consultation with our Tennessee immigration lawyer today.