Annually, the U.S. government approves over one million Green Cards. The majority of these go to family members of U.S. citizens and existing Green Card holders, with the next largest group being foreign national workers seeking employment in the United States.
A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card or Form I-551, enables non-citizens of the United States to have the right to permanent residency in the country. Obtaining a Green Card allows individuals to legally reside and work anywhere in the United States, and potentially qualify for U.S. citizenship after a certain number of years. If you are interested in applying for it, Oltarsh & Associates offers affordable support services.
At Oltarsh & Associates, P.C., we work with individuals and families to complete the process of applying for a Green Card and beginning new lives as permanent residents in the United States. A qualified New York immigration lawyer can provide you with proven legal solutions that help you to achieve your goals.
There are several different Green Card categories under which individuals can apply for it. The most common way is through a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Other immediate family members can also apply for their relatives, including children, parents, or siblings. This is known as “family-based immigration.”
Other categories include employment-based immigration, for individuals with specialized skills or job offers in the United States, and humanitarian-based immigration, for individuals fleeing persecution or natural disasters in their home countries.
A Permanent Resident Card may be awarded to those who qualify under one or more of the following criteria:
Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the expert help and guidance needed to navigate the application process for Green Card visas. We work with individuals and families to determine the most effective way to approach your visa application and to help you stay together throughout the application process.
If Green Cards are needed for family members, we can help you with the following:
The processing time for a Green Card can range from a few months to several years, depending on the category under which an individual is applying and their country of nationality.
Applying within the United States
For individuals applying from within the United States, the wait time and eligibility can vary depending on the category and location of residence. For example, spouses and immediate relatives (parents and minor children) of U.S. citizens who are applying through the adjustment of status process can expect a wait time of 12-22 months. On the other hand, individuals applying through the employment-based or spouse of a Green Card holder category can expect a wait time of two years or more.
Applying outside of the United States
For those applying from outside the United States, the process is known as consular processing. For spouses and immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, the processing time varies considerably depending on the Consulates despite being immediately eligible. Many categories on the priority waitlist are subject to country caps, and wait times can vary significantly.
Once an individual has been issued a Green Card, they are granted much of the same rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents are not able to vote and are subject to certain travel restrictions. For example, a Green Card holder cannot leave the United States for more than six months without jeopardizing permanent residence. Green Card holders are also required to pay taxes and follow all U.S. laws. It is important to note that a Green Card is not the same as U.S. citizenship and Green Card holders can be deported if they violate U.S. immigration laws or commit certain crimes.
Obtaining a Green Card can be a long and complex process, but it can also be a rewarding one for those who are successful. It provides individuals with the opportunity to live and work legally in the United States, and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. If you are considering applying for a green card, it is important to understand the process and seek the assistance of a qualified professional to ensure the best possible outcome.
We are committed to providing you with quality legal support and representation in the modern immigration system. If you need help with Green Cards, deportation proceedings, or any other issues related to your immigration status, call our offices today at 212-944-9420. Oltarsh & Associates is here to serve your legal needs now and in the future.