Khagendra and Bandita: American Green Card is one of the most vied upon document in this world and that too specially in developing and undeveloped nations across the world. While most people only dream of it, here is a piece of sane advice from legal professionals on the procedures to acquire one
What is a Green Card?
The Permanent Resident Card is also known as the immigrant visa, permanent visa, Green Card, permanent resident visa, and form I-551 or form I-551. Although, Green Card is not a citizenship it gives you the right to live, study and work anywhere in the U.S., leave and re-enter the U.S. at any time, and the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen.
What are the different ways to obtain a Green Card?
Permanent resident card (popularly known as green card) can be obtained through various ways:
What is family based immigration and who can petition or benefit through it?
Family is a very important component of every society and family reunification is the given a priority. US Citizen or Legal permanent resident can file a petition for their family members. If you are the spouse, child, parents, sibling or are engaged to be married to US citizen you can become a permanent resident. However, there are various factors that need to be considered such as spouse and children (under 21), and parents of US citizen are considered immediate relative and their petition is approved very fast. For all the other relatives the waiting period could be longer. If you are a legal permanent resident than you can file the petition for your spouse and children. The waiting period could be longer depending on visa availability.
What is Employment based immigration?
You may be able to obtain a green card through a job offer from employer in US. It is lengthy and multiple step process. Employers must apply for labor certification for most employment categories. However, labor certification is not required If the person : a. Has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; b. is an outstanding researcher or a professor; or c. is a multinational executive or manager. Labor certification is not required if a foreign national can be qualified under National Interest waiver. In the process of applying for lawful permanent resident status (green card), foreign nationals with exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business, may apply to have the requirement that s/he has a job offer be waived, if such a waiver can be shown to be in the national interest. Labor certification is also not required for such individuals. There are employment based options available for people of different skills and capacity including domestic workers, carpenters, cook etc.
What are Entrepreneur immigrants (investor’s visa)? How much should an alien invest?
An alien entrepreneur from any country who invests at least one million dollars in a business (or $500,000 if the business is in economically depressed area) and who employs at least ten US citizen or lawful permanent resident is eligible to apply for green card.
What is Asylum and refugee?
These protections are available to people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home countries because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In general, asylee status is granted in the United States and refugee status is granted outside of it. Asylum eligibility has three basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution. Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and social group. Third, an applicant must establish that the government is either involved in the persecution, or unable to control the conduct of private actors. If you have granted the asylum or refugee status you can apply for permanent resident status one year after being admitted.
What is Diversity visa lottery?
Diversity visa lottery created by immigration act to benefit people from country that in recent years have sent the fewest number of immigrant to USA. 100,000 people receive the winning lottery notification. Winners of the Lottery are eligible to include their spouse and all children under 21 years old in the same application.
What are Special immigrants?
It is special category created for certain category of people by special rule it includes religious workers, retired workers or employees of certain international organization who have lived in us for certain time period. Etc.
Is there anything else green card holders should be cautious of?
Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs or green card holders) have a unique status in the US. They are allowed to legally stay and work in the US, but they are can still be deported since they are not US citizens. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met. There are many ways a green card holder may lose his LPR status and the most common ways of losing the permanent resident status could be committing a crimes involving moral turpitude and abandonment.
Obtaining a green card is a long process, but losing it can happen very quickly. It is possible for a person to abandon their green card, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. A green card holder can file a form to abandon their green card, but this is somewhat rare and should be considered only in very specific circumstances. The other more common scenario is involuntarily abandonment. This occurs when the green card holder is outside the US for an extended period of time.
Simply coming into the US once in a while will not count. There must be intent to stay in the US. This can be done by filing taxes, renting a home or working in the US. In other words, there must be intent to stay in the US when you have a green card. Leaving the country for an extended amount of time without any of the above precautions can be inferred that the LPR has no intent to stay in the US and therefore intends to abandon their green card. If a permanent resident has to go out of US for more than six months it is always advisable to file for entry permit.
Information provided here is of general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Matters in personal history or a particular situation may affect eligibility to receive immigration benefits in a particular situation. Information is updated periodically and may not be current at all times. If you need further information in immigration and nationality law issues please contact: Khagendra G.C., Esq at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212 947-1079 and Bandita Sharma-Dahal, Esq., @ 2152924141 or email@example.com