Can I apply for a Green Card by myself?
As an immigrant, a Green Card is an extremely desired document to own. It means that you are not only a legal resident of the United States but are allowed to stay here permanently and get a job. There is also a straight line from obtaining a Green Card to becoming a United States citizen.
Before deciding whether you can apply for a Green Card, it is vital for you to determine whether you are eligible to receive this immigration status.
What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Green Card?
There are several solid paths you can take to obtain a Green Card. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Green Card through family
If you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen that is petitioning you, you will be in the most preferential category of all applicant groups: a group with unlimited Green Cards. However, not every relative is eligible. In short, you must be a spouse, an unmarried child that is under 21 years, the parent of a US citizen who is over 21 or an adopted child of an American citizen.
Green Card through your job
If you have certain job skills that are in high demand you may be on the right path. However, you must prove that you have a job offer and that your employer has been unable to find a US citizen to fill this position. There are also different degrees of preference for a job-related Green Card application.
Green Card to refugees or asylum seekers
Refugee status does not apply to people trying to come into the United States because of poverty or violence in their own countries. To qualify, you must apply from outside the United States. To apply for asylum, you may be inside the country or at the border and ready to cross in. If you are granted either of these statuses, you may apply for a Green Card a year after obtaining your initial immigration status.
Green Card as an investor
If you are a foreign entrepreneur, together with your spouse or unmarried minor child of one, you can apply for a Green Card as an investor. To qualify, you must either invest $500,000 in a business that will employ 5 full-time jobs. Or invest $1,000,000 in a commercial venture that will create at least 10 full-time jobs.
Green Card through the visa lottery
This lottery grants 50,000 Green Cards to potential immigrants who reside permanently in certain countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
Applying for a Green Card
Once you determine you are eligible, you, your relative or your employer must file the petition. After that is approved, you must file the application to register as a permanent resident. The application will be reviewed and you will be given an appointment to have your biometrics taken. The last step is an interview and if the decision is made that you are approved, you will receive your Green Card.
You don’t have to be an expert in immigration law, but you do want to make sure not to risk your chances of getting a Green Card. With the guidance of an immigration lawyer, you may be a step closer to obtaining your permanent residence status in the United States.
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