Am I Eligible for a Green Card?

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Am I Eligible for a Green Card?

The ability to hold a green card and stay in this country permanently is a dream of many. However, before you can determine if you are eligible to apply for and receive a green card, it’s imperative that you understand what one is and what it means to hold one. Someone who is granted a green card is a permanent resident. They are legally authorized to live and work in the United States permanently. A green card is simply proof of their status granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are different pathways to obtaining a green card. 

Through Your Family Members

You may be able to get approved for a green card if you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, including the spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent who is at least 21 years old. Other non-immediate family members are also eligible based on preference categories. Fiances, widowers, and abused spouses of U.S. citizens are also sometimes eligible.

Through Your Job

Another common way to obtain a green card is through employment in the U.S. Immigrant workers, such as the following may apply:

First preference immigrant workers, such as those who:

  • Have extraordinary ability in the areas of sciences, art, education, business, or athletics 
  • Are an outstanding professor or researcher
  • Are a multinational executive or manager who meets specific criteria  

Second preference immigrant workers, such as those who: 

  • Are in a profession that necessitates an advanced degree 
  • Have exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business 
  • Are pursuing a national interest waiver  

Third preference immigrant worker, including: 

  • Skilled workers (your job requires a minimum of two years of work experience or training) 
  • Professionals whose jobs require at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent and they are a member of that profession 
  • An unskilled worker who performs unskilled labor requiring less than two years of work experience or training

Immigrant investors and doctors with a Physician National Interest Waiver are also eligible. This waiver applies to those who meet certain eligibility requirements, such as committing to:

  • Working full-time in clinical practice
  • Serving in a designated underserved area for a predetermined time period 

As a Special Immigrant

It’s best to double-check with your Chicago immigration attorney about whether or not you fit in this category. However, you may be eligible for a green card under this category if you are a(n):

  • Religious worker
  • A juvenile who needs court protection due to parental abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • International broadcaster
  • Employee of an international organization or their family member
  • NATO-6 employee or their family member  

Other Routes for Eligibility

There are many other routes for green card eligibility that might work for you or your family member. When you meet with a seasoned Chicago immigration lawyer, they can help determine which path might be the best for you. Other routes include:

  • Refugee or asylee status
  • Human trafficking and crime victims
  • Victims of abuse

Questions About Your Green Card Eligibility Status? Contact a Skilled Chicago Immigration Attorney Today

At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, our Chicago family immigration lawyers understand the laws that govern green card status. We take the time to truly understand your situation so that we can craft a customized immigration solution for you. Our team will stand by you every step of the way. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation case consultation today.