Lawful permanent residents, also known as green card holders, are allowed to reside and take employment in the United States. While the benefits are terrific, the process of securing and protecting your green card is a road filled with many obstacles.
At the Law Offices of Elsa Martinez, we help our clients with immigration issues such as securing a green card and protecting it. Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys bring 20 years of collective experience to the table. Since 2001, we have worked with countless families on cases ranging from deportation and detainment to student immigration and green cards.
One of the most common and simple ways to get a green card is through family. If you’re directly related to a lawful U.S. citizen, your relative may be able to petition for you to live in the United States. Immediate relatives have a much quicker green card process than other types of family. Below is a list of who the USCIC considers eligible for immediate family:
All other family members fall under several different categories, including family-based preference, K-1 nonimmigrant and victims of battery or extreme cruelty:
Another popular way to obtain a green card is through employment in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of workers are admitted, and because of the sheer number of applications, there is a preference category system in place. Below are the three tiers of the system:
Physicians who agree to work full-time in an underserved area in the U.S. and investors who have put at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. are both eligible for green cards as well.
A special immigrant is a person who qualities for a green card under the USCIS special immigrant program. The list of “special immigrants” includes:
Refugees who were admitted at least a year ago and asylees who were granted status at least a year ago may be eligible for green cards.
People who have resided continuously in the U.S since before January 1, 1972 may be eligible to register for a green card.
In addition to the list above, other non-citizens who may be eligible for green cards include:
Once you receive your green card, it is important to stay in good standing with the U.S. government. Typically, you can lose your green card in one of two ways:
You may also be deported if you do not notify the USCIS of an address change within 10 days of moving or if you fail to register with the Selective Service System, if you qualify.
Our Los Angeles immigration lawyers may be able to help you obtain and protect your permanent status. If you are applying for a green card or are in trouble with the USCIS, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Enlist our help today to get the legal guidance you deserve.Contact us online or call (213) 985-4550 to schedule a personal consultation.