Lawful Permanent Resident status in the U.S. allows a person to reside indefinitely, work, and travel in and out of the U.S. without the need to obtain a visa. A lawful permanent resident receives a lawful permanent resident card (green card) as proof of their status. The process for obtaining permanent resident status varies, depending on whether the person is in the United States or abroad. If the person is in the United States, he or she files an application for adjustment of status. If the person is overseas, he or she applies to the U.S. embassy for an immigrant visa.
There are several bases for obtaining a green card. The most common are asylum, family petitions, and employer petitions. Other means include winning the diversity visa lottery, birth in the U.S. to diplomatic parents, being a Native American born in Canada, having an approved fiancé visa or being the child under 21 of a fiancé, being the widow or widower of a U.S. citizen, and being the child under 21 years or spouse of a person eligible to immigrate due to an approved employer or family petition.
Abused children and spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can self-petition and if the petition is granted, can apply for lawful permanent resident status without the abusive spouse or parent being involved. Likewise, unaccompanied minors who can demonstrate that they have suffered abuse or neglect, such that it would not be in their best interest to be reunited with one or both parents, can file a petition. If granted, they can apply for lawful permanent resident status. Amerasian children of U.S. citizens also can apply for a green card without a petitioner.
Applications for permanent resident status can be filed after working in certain categories of jobs. Also, certain nonimmigrant visas permit you to file an application for a green card after a certain period of time. Additionally, eligible nationals from certain countries qualify to apply for lawful permanent resident status under special programs.
Certain convictions, association memberships, past activities, and unlawful periods of stay in the U.S. can make a person ineligible for lawful permanent resident status and require the filing of a waiver application. Applicants for lawful permanent resident status are interviewed at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office or at the U.S. embassy
When you hire Minikon Law, LLC to represent you in your adjustment of status or immigrant visa case, we do the following:
- Assess your eligibility for lawful permanent resident status
- Evaluate your immigration history to identify potential challenges before filing
- Prepare the necessary applications and guide you through the entire immigration process, in the U.S. or abroad
- Advise on the need for any waivers
- Research current law to assess the impact on your application before filing
- Prepare you for your immigration interview
- Attend the immigration interview with you, if held in the U.S.