A “permanent resident” is an individual who has been given official permission to work and live in the United States indefinitely. Proof of that status is a permanent resident card, commonly called a green card. Though many individuals want to obtain permanent resident status, the process of doing so can be complex and can involve many different immigration laws of which he or she may be unaware. Becoming a permanent resident can require many qualifications as well as a substantial amount of documentation. If you would like to become a permanent resident and enjoy the benefits that come with this status, you should have an experienced Chicago immigration attorney assist you through the process.
Permanent Residency Requirements
You cannot simply request a permanent resident card for any reason. Instead, you must have a qualified basis to want to stay in the U.S. permanently. There are different types of residencies and the following are some examples of ways to obtain this status.
Family-based Permanent Residency
If you have a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may qualify to receive a permanent resident card because of your relation to him or her. Through the Immigration & Nationality Act, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides the opportunity for spouses, children (unmarried and under the age of 21), and parents of U.S. citizens to become permanent residents. In addition, there are a limited number of green cards available for the following specific “preference categories” that include the following:
- Unmarried adult children (and their children if applicable) of U.S. citizens;
- Spouses, children, or unmarried adult children of permanent U.S. permanent residents;
- Children of U.S. citizens who are married, including their spouses and children; and
- Siblings of adult U.S. citizens, as well as their spouses and children.
In addition, individuals with parents who are foreign diplomats or individuals who are survivors of domestic violence may be eligible for a permanent resident card.
Employment-based Permanent Residency
One of the primary reasons a person may want to obtain permanent residency is to have the ability to work in the U.S. An individual who is hired for a qualifying position or wishes to start a business venture in the United States may be eligible for a green card. In addition, individuals with extraordinary abilities – including athletes, academics, and others – may be able to obtain permission to permanently work in the United States.
Refugees Or Individuals Seeking Asylum
People who are fleeing persecution or a very dangerous situation in their home country may qualify for permanent residency after being designated as refugees or asylees. They must wait one year after they were granted asylum or after they came to the U.S. as refugees. The process of obtaining a permanent resident card and available waivers are different for refugees and asylees than for other groups, so it is important to discuss your situation with an immigration attorney.
Call a Chicago Permanent Resident Attorney For Help
If you want to pursue permanent residency in the U.S. or have been denied a green card, you should not hesitate to call a Chicago immigration lawyer who can assist you with the process. Please call the law office of Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC at 312-332-2550 today.