The process of obtaining permanent resident status, or a “green card,” can be extremely complicated, especially for people who are unfamiliar with U.S. immigration law. Even the simplest of the rules that dictate whether a particular person is eligible to obtain a green card have substantial exceptions that may or may not apply in your case. In addition, the documentation that a green card applicant is required to produce in order to successfully obtain a permanent residency can be extremely complicated and errors or omissions could very easily result in significant delays or even the denial of your application. For this reason, it is highly advisable for anyone that is seeking a green card to do so with the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer.
In order to obtain a green card, you need to have some recognized basis for applying. Some of the more common ways in which people obtain green cards are discussed below.
Family-Based Green Cards
Individuals who are related to United States citizens may be eligible for permanent residency based on their degree of relation. According to the Immigration & Nationality Act, people with the following relationships to U.S. Citizens may be able to obtain green cards:
- Immediate relatives including spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21;
- Family members who fit into a preference category, including unmarried daughters or sons over 21, married children of any age, and siblings of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21;
- Certain family members of green card holders; and
- Special category members, including survivors of domestic violence or people born to foreign diplomats in the United States.
Employment-Based Green Cards
People seeking permanent resident status can often obtain it through getting a job offer, by investing into an enterprise that creates jobs in the United States, by demonstrating extraordinary ability, by obtaining a National Interest Waiver, or by having a job that fits into a special category such as an Iraqi translator, broadcaster, employee of the Panama Canal, or religious worker.
Asylum or Refugee Status-Based Green Cards
Refugees and asylees who have entered the United States are generally eligible for permanent resident status after one year in the United States for refugees and after one year after the grant of asylum for asylees. Importantly, although asylees are not required to apply for permanent resident status after one year, refugees must.
Importantly, there are many issues that may have the potential to result in the denial of an application for permanent residency. These can include minor criminal convictions, overstaying on a past visa, serious health conditions, or job loss. They can all result in an individual being deemed inadmissible by immigration authorities, an issue that can also be overcome through the legal process.
Contact a Chicago Green Card Attorney Today to Discuss your Case
Individuals who are seeking permanent resident status should always talk to an attorney regarding their situations. Even in the most straightforward and uncomplicated circumstances, the assistance of a Chicago immigration lawyer can make the process of obtaining a green card as simple as possible. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC today at 312-332-2550.