If you are living in the United States as a noncitizen, you may wish to obtain what is known as a Green Card. Most Green Card holders are referred to as permanent residents. If you are here on a conditional residency, there is a good chance you are feeling the stress that often comes along with the uncertainty of your future. If you wish to establish permanent residency, here are some of the questions you may have:

How may a Green Card benefit me?

If you get a Green Card, you may have more employment opportunities, you will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license, and you may apply for a Social Security Card. Additionally, if you wish to travel out of the country for less than a year, a Green Card will grant your admittance back in. 

How do I know if I am eligible for a Green Card?

There are several potential qualifications for a Green Card. They are as follows:

  • Family-based: If you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen, you do not have to wait for a visa. There is also no limit to the number of visas that may be issued. Parents of a U.S. citizen, spouses of a U.S. citizen, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen are all considered immediate relatives.
  • Job or employment-based: This category is rather limited, but under certain circumstances, you may apply for a Green Card based on employment or a job offer.
  • Refugee or asylum-based: Those who were admitted into the United States as a refugee or as a qualifying spouse or child of an asylee should be able to apply for permanent residence one year after your asylum status is granted
  • Special programs

Once you have determined your eligibility, you will most likely have to find another United States citizen to sponsor you. If you are eligible for employment-based reasons, your employer should petition on your behalf. If you are eligible for family-based reasons, then your loved one should petition for you.

What is the Green Card application process like?

Once you have confirmed your eligibility and your sponsor has filed a petition on your behalf, you may file a Green Card application or a visa application. If you are applying while you are inside the United States, it is considered an adjustment of status. If you are applying from outside the United States, you will have to go through consular processing at the U.S. Consulate. After your petition has been approved, you will be asked to attend a biometrics appointment, and you will also most likely be asked for an interview with the USCIS. They will come to a decision regarding your Green Card soon after. 

Contact our seasoned New York firm

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.