A Permanent Resident of the U.S. is a person who has been authorized to live and work permanently in the country. Though not yet fully a citizen, a permanent resident is granted proof of their status through what is known as a “green card”. An alien can obtain a green card, or permanent resident status, through many different avenues.
Some common ways a person can obtain a green card are through:
Green card applications are part of a preference-based system, and aside from immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, Congress has limited the number of available green cards to 675,000 each year. The application process for a green card can sometimes be quite lengthy- it involves several steps with waiting periods in between. Some of the most important steps include:
One common alternative is the Green Card Diversity Lottery. The Diversity Immigrant visa program makes 55,000 lawful permanent resident visas available each year to countries that have been deemed to have low United States immigration rates. An application (Form DV-2010) must be submitted, and the chances of winning the green card lottery are incredibly low. For example, in 2008, there were over 13 million applications for the 55,000 available visas.
Green card applications are incredibly complicated. Hiring an immigration lawyer is the best way to quickly navigate the process if you or a loved one needs assistance. An attorney can help meet all the requirements and ensure that you do not experience any undue delays.
Last Modified: 11-06-2017 03:45 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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