Permanent Resident Card Lawyers

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What's a Permanent Resident Card?

Permanent resident cards are granted to persons who are considered Lawful Permanent Residents, or LPRs. Lawful Permanent Residents have various rights that are similar to those of U.S. citizens. These include the right to vote, the right own land, and the right to live in the United States. Permanent resident cards are commonly known as “green cards” due to their green coloring. These cards are generally valid for 10 years, after which they must be renewed.

How Are Green Cards Issued?

Green cards are generally issued in connection with three different types of immigration visa pathways. Each of these categories involves different waiting periods for processing. These include:

In most cases, the person receives conditional permanent residency first. They must then have these conditions “lifted” or removed after a period of time. From there, they can claim LPR status and eventually file for citizenship if so desired.

What Is a Long-Term Illegal Resident?

Green cards are sometimes made available for persons who are deemed long-term illegal residents. These are persons who initially entered into the U.S. in an illegal manner. However, their long-term residency often allows them to obtain a green card. In most cases, the person must have been in the country for several decades. There may be several other conditions that must be fulfilled in order to obtain a green card through long-term illegal residency.

On another note, filing for a green card through this category can sometimes present certain risks. For instance, if the person applies for a permanent resident card, but is not actually eligible for a change in status, they will have alerted authorities to the fact that they are in the country illegally. This may result in removal from the country or other consequences.

Should I Contact an Immigration Lawyer?

Obtaining a permanent resident card involves various steps and requirements. You may need to hire an immigration lawyer if you or a loved one of yours needs help applying for a green card. Your lawyer can inform you of how to proceed and can also follow up to make sure all the requirements are met. In the event that you have any legal issues or disputes, your attorney can represent you during an immigration court hearing or other similar proceedings.

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Last Modified: 05-20-2014 12:40 PM PDT

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