Green Card Eligibility

Green Card Eligibility

21/11/2016

A green card identifies its holder as a permanent resident of the U. S. with rights to enter, exit, work and live in the U. S. for their entire life and eventually apply for U. S. citizenship. However, to attain a green card one must be eligible for it and there are a number of categories in which an individual can apply for a green card.

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Green Card Eligibility

An individual is eligible for a green card under the following categories:

Immediate relatives of U. S. citizens – immediate relatives top the list when it comes to qualifying for a green card and quickly receiving one. Those who fall into this category are:

Spouses of U.S. citizens – this includes recent widows and widowers, same sex spouses (if the marriage is valid in the state or country of marriage)

Unmarried people under the age of 21 with at least 1 U. S. parent

Parents of a U. S. citizen if the child is 21 years or older.

Stepchildren or stepparents of a U. S citizen. In respect of children, the parents must have been married before the child(ren)’s 18th birthday

Adopted children of U. S. citizens – applies if the adoption happened before the child’s 16th birthday

Other family members – while not at the top of the green card list this category allows for other family members to have a chance to apply for a green card. However, while they may be eligible their receipt of the green card is not immediate. Other family members fall into preference categories. And only a specific number (480000) of visas are issued yearly. It is a first come, first serve system; so the sooner the application is made the better. The wait time is unpredictable due to varying factors that are subject to change. The preference categories are:

Family first preference (F1) – this is for unmarried adults aged 21 years or younger with at least 1 U. S citizen parent.

Family second preference (F2) – spouses and unmarried children 21 years or older. Family third preference – married people of any age, with at least 1 U. S. citizen parent

Family fourth preference – sisters and brothers of U. S. citizens where the citizen is 21 years or older.

Because of high volumes of applications wait times for people from China, India, Mexico and the Philippines are very long.

Green card lotteries: Ethnic Diversity – a certain number (currently 50000) of green cards are made available to people of countries that in recent years have sent the fewest immigrants to the U. S.

Special immigration – at times laws are passed that avail green cards to people of special situations, for example, international broadcasters, retired employees of the U. S. government outside the U. S. A list of those who qualify is available on the U. S. citizenship and Immigration Services website.

For more information on green card eligibility and Michigan immigration process contact an immigration lawyer from a renowned law firm of professionals.

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Richard Herman is a nationally-known immigration attorney with 20+ years of experience representing families and businesses in all aspects of immigration law. Richard was voted for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and listed in Super Lawyers© for ten consecutive years, Richard is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm serving clients in over 12 languages from offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, whose attorneys have represented diverse clientele, from Fortune 500 companies to undocumented workers, from technology entrepreneurs to NFL teams. He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. ---Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard has appeared FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), ABC News 20/20, National Public Radio, and has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Inc., PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch and InformationWeek.

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