If you are looking to become a permanent resident of the United States you, must apply and obtain a permanent alien registration card, also known as a green card. This card allows you to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
The ways to get a green card can be broken down into four basic categories. The two most common are to be sponsored by a family member or by an employer in the United States.
The office of Pastor & Deromemaj has successfully helped families and individuals to overcome immigration obstacles and obtained visas for them on their journey to building their new lives in the United States.
Call (248) 619-0065 today to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney to determine your options. Or, contact us here.
You can also become a permanent resident by requesting asylum or attaining status as a refugee. Finally, you can also become a permanent residence through the "Diversity Visa" lottery (DV Lottery), which is also known as the green card lottery and annually allows approximately 50,000 immigrants from countries with low immigration rates to become U.S. citizens.
The process of applying for and securing a green card can be complex and lengthy, and if possible you should secure the services of a qualified immigration attorney to help guide you through the process. This is especially true if you're applying via the green card lottery, which could be in its final year due to the ongoing political process of immigration reform. Another reason to have an attorney is that many states follow slight variations on basic immigration law, and Michigan is no exception.
The following sections provide a breakdown of the various ways to apply for and get a green card:
There are several ways to obtain a green card through family members:
A family-based green card guarantees certain basic rights, including the right to live in the U.S. permanently, to be employed at any legal work which you choose and are qualified for, and to be protected by all U.S. laws, local, state and federal. International travel is allowed as well, with a valid passport, but participation in U.S. elections is not allowed. The green card is valid for ten years before expiring.
There are four basic ways to obtain a green card through a job offer:
Acquiring this kind of green card is a four-step process. The first step is for your employer to apply for labor certification to the Department of Labor. After that, a petition is filed for immigration status with the INS. Fingerprinting is also required as part of the adjustment status process.
The entire process can be quite time consuming, as it is typically granted against the per-year quota number from the individual country where the applicant has prior citizenship. In addition, you must stick with the company you're employed with throughout the process, otherwise a fresh application may be required. We have helped numerous businesses and individuals in Michigan with their green card related matters.
If you were admitted into the United States as a refugee or either you or a family member has been granted asylum, you can apply for permanent residence one year after entering the U.S.
Asylum is a form of relief from persecution or perceived fear of persecution in the future, and can be gained through either an affirmative or a defensive process. Those using the affirmative process are applicants who have legal standing and are not in removal process (i.e., deportation), while the defensive process pertains to those who are in removal process in immigration court.
Asylum officers typically look for credibility and consistency of testimony from applicants during the interview process. Applying for asylum can be denied if a similar request by an individual has been previously denied by an immigration judge or a Board of Immigration Appeals.
Refugees need to file appropriate documentation to verify their status as such.
The so-called green card lottery has been held annually by the State Department, allowing up to 50,000 annual winners to apply for a green card. If permanent residence is granted, lottery winners are also allowed to bring spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the U.S.
Not all immigrants are eligible for this lottery; citizens from countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the last five years cannot apply. In 2012, for instance, the list for this year included Canada, Mexico, China and several Latin American countries.
In addition, applicants must have either a high school diploma or the equivalent, or two years of work experience in the last five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience to perform.
The status of those who wish to use this lottery in the future is currently undetermined due to ongoing immigration reform. Those who have entered the lottery for 2015 (the application process normally closes at the end of October) are responsible for monitoring State Department websites to determine whether they have been declared winners.
If you are interested in learning about your green card related immigration matters, please contact the office of Pastor & Deromemaj today and we can help you along your legal journey. We can help you obtain a green card and work with you to make sure that all of your facts and paperwork are in order.