A green card, or Permanent Resident Card, offers the opportunity to live and work in the United States permanently. They are available to individuals who meet certain requirements and/or belong to a certain category. Because immigration guidelines and procedures seem to be in flux right now, you may have questions about your own eligibility. If any of the following categories applies to your situation, you may be eligible for a green card for permanent resident status in the United States:
- Immediate relative of a United States citizen, which includes a spouse, an unmarried child under age 21 of a citizen, or parent of a citizen who is at least 21 years old
- Relative of a citizen or lawful permanent resident under family-based preference categories, which include:
- An unmarried child over the age of 21 of a citizen
- A married child of a citizen
- The sibling of a citizen who is at least 21 years old
- The spouse of a lawful permanent resident
- An unmarried child under the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident
- An unmarried child of lawful permanent resident who is age 21 or older
- Fiancée of a United States citizen or a fiancée’s child, which is a person admitted to the United States on the fiancée (K-1) visa or the child of a fiancée admitted on the K-2 visa
- Widow(er) of a United States citizen, which is an individual who was married to a United States citizen spouse at the time of their death
- Self-petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which is an abused spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
The United States also offers green cards to workers in a variety of different sectors and professions based on preference:
- First preference: Extraordinary ability as a professor, researcher, or multilingual manager in the arts, athletics, business, education, or sciences
- Second preference: Worker in a profession that requires an advanced degree, someone with exceptional ability in the arts, business, or science
- Third preference: Skilled worker in a job requiring at least two years of experience or training, an employee in a degreed profession, or an unskilled worker
It is important to note that certain physicians and investors may also qualify for a green card through employment.
Through Asylee or Refugee Status
An individual who was granted protection from violence or persecution in their homeland through status as a refugee or asylee can apply for a green card after a year.
Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program offers 50,000 immigrant visas every year, drawn through the process of random selection among applications from individuals residing in nations with low numbers of immigration to the United States. Victims of human trafficking, abuse, and other crimes are also possibly eligible for a green card, as are refugees from certain nations where protection programs already exist, including Liberia, Cuba, and Vietnam.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients with Every Step of the Green Card Process
To find out if you or your loved one is eligible for a green card, schedule an initial consultation with a Philadelphia immigration lawyer at Surin & Griffin. P.C. We will answer all your eligibility questions, prepare your application, appeal a denied application, and explore other options, if necessary. Call us at 215-925-4435 or contact us online to get started today. Located in Philadelphia, we advocate for clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationwide.