Thinking of Applying for a Green Card? Call Iyer PLLC for Help! Based in Houston and proudly serving clients in in Houston, Pasadena, Sugar Land, Conroe, Baytown, Katy, Clear Lake, Pearland, League City, Richmond, Spring, Humble, Kingwood, Stafford, Cypress, Fulshear, Missouri City, and The Woodlands. We also take immigration cases nationwide.
Do you want to make the United States you home and put yourself on the path to U.S. citizenship? Usually, the first step in the process is applying for permanent residency, otherwise known as a Green Card. At Iyer PLLC, we can help you through the application process. As immigrants ourselves, our legal team is experienced and dedicated to providing the best quality service. When you case gets taken on by our attorney, you will be guided through the immigration process by a dedicated, accessible professional who will diligently work your case.
Obtaining a Green Card
Generally, a Green Card is evidence of lawful permanent residence in the United States and is a prerequisite to obtaining U.S. citizenship. It allows one to lawfully live and work in the United States indefinitely. Unlike other visas, a Green Card grants its holder a potentially permanent status, i.e., lawful permanent residence.
Eligibility to Obtain a Green Card
The process of obtaining a Green Card can seem complex, which is why Iyer PLLC is here to help you. There are many different bases for Green Cards—each of which involves different eligibility requirements—but here are some of the more common general eligibility requirements to get a Green Card.
Generally, an immigrant must:
- Demonstrate eligibility for a Green Card under one of the many different possible bases;
- Establish that you are not inadmissible;
- If you are inadmissible, apply for a waiver.
The categories of immigrants who are eligible for a Green Card are diverse. Often, immigrants are eligible to apply for a Green Card as part of a petition process. For example, U.S. citizens or Green Card holders may petition for a Green Card for certain immigrant family members. Similarly, an employer may petition for a Green Card for certain eligible immigrant workers. Alternatively, immigrants may be eligible to apply for a Green Card directly through a special program, such as Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (“LRIF”) or the Cuban Adjustment Act (“CAA”).
Family-Based Green Cards
An immigrant may be eligible for a Green Card if she is an immediate relative or falls into one of the family preference categories. Immediate relatives include a spouse, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. Family preference categories include adult or married children of U.S. citizens; siblings of U.S. citizens; and a spouse and unmarried children of Green Card holders.
Fiancée & K Visa Applications
Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens are also eligible for Green Cards, but the process is a bit more complicated because it involves both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, as well as an intervening marriage. Generally, the first step is to obtain a K-1 visa so that the immigrant can enter the United States for 90 days in order to marry the U.S. citizen fiancé(e). If the parties marry within that time, the immigrant then applies to adjust status to a lawful permanent residence. If successful, the immigrant will obtain a Green Card at the end of the process. The unmarried children under 21 of the immigrant fiancé(e)s is also eligible
The Diversity Visa Program is an annual lottery that invites up to 50,000 nationals of certain low-immigration countries, along with their family members, to apply for Green Cards. The chance of winning the lottery depends on your country of chargeability. Most people are charged to their country of birth, although there are a few important exceptions. Once selected for a diversity visa, the applicant must apply for a Green Card either at the U.S. Embassy in her home country or through adjustment of status in the United States. At the end of a successful process, the applicant and certain family members will obtain Green Cards.
Special Country-Specific Green Cards
Congress has also created several special categories of Green Cards for nationals of certain countries. For example, under the Cuban Adjustment Act (“CAA”), Cubans and their family members may obtain Green Cards, provided that the principal applicant has been admitted or paroled into the United States and has resided here for one year. Similarly, under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (“LRIF”), Liberians and their family members may obtain Green Cards, provided that the principal Liberian applicant has been continuously present in the United States since November 20, 2014. There are also other country-specific Green Cards
How to Get a Green Card
Generally, there are two ways to obtain a Green Card: adjustment of status and consular processing. Adjustment of status refers to the process by which a noncitizen obtains a Green Card without leaving the United States. Consular processing, on the other hand, generally refers to the process by which a noncitizen obtains a Green Card at the U.S. Embassy in her native country. Regardless of the method used, however, the ultimate result is the same: the noncitizen becomes a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) and obtains a Green Card.
Obtaining a Green Card and gaining lawful permanent status can be the first step in making your dreams come true. Whether you are just seeking a Green Card or are striving for U.S. citizenship, Iyer PLLC’s team can help you.
We can evaluate your case and guide you toward your goals. Contact us today.