There are several ways to establish permanent residency, the most common is through a permanent residence visa which is also called a green card. However, acquiring a green card can be a very competitive process as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides only a limited number of permanent residence visas every year. There are also other ways to establish residency, such as through an application for asylum or sponsorship by a permanent resident or U.S. citizen relative as well as many others.
Anyone who is looking to become a permanent resident of the United States must apply for and obtain a green card. The green card is also known as a permanent alien registration card, and it allows aliens certain residency benefits such as residing and working in the U.S. Upon receiving a green card, there is a two year conditional period before the alien can obtain a permanent residence visa which will be good for 10 years. Once a permanent residence visa is obtained, then the alien must maintain a good record both criminal and driving in order to be able to renew their visa after the 10 year period.
The process of applying for a green card can be long and difficult, and there are many factors that can impede the process or deny eligibility. The major ways in which one can obtain a green card include through family, through a job and through status as a refugee or asylee. Below, we can explain each.
Requirements for Obtaining a Green Card Through Family
Obtaining a Green Card Through a Job
To obtain a status of permanent residency through a job, you typically you will need a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that shows there is a shortage of U.S. workers to fill the position you are considering. This is especially true for workers who can demonstrate that they are highly skilled. Typically, you can obtain a green card through a job offer, through an investment, through self-petition or through special categories of jobs, such as broadcasters, religious workers and more.
Obtaining a Green Card Through Asylee / Refugee Status
To obtain a green card, you must be officially admitted to the United States either as a refugee or as a family member of an asylee, or you must have been granted asylum. After your entry or your grant, you will have one year to apply for permanent residency. If you are a refugee, it is required for you to apply, but you are not required to apply as an asylee.
Green cards are typically issued on a ten-year term; however, there are conditional circumstances in which this length of time can be shortened to no more than a two-year period of permanent residency. Green cards that are only valid for a total of two years are regarded as conditional permanent residences. Often, individuals who are issued conditional permanent residence through a green card wish to extend the terms of their residency as their expiration date approaches its two year mark. To do this, the conditional permanent resident must file a petition to remove the condition from their green card within 90 days of its expiration date.
Conditional cards cannot be renewed. Rather, the green card must be amended completely. This translates to a removal of the conditional terms entirely. Failure to remove the conditions of permanent residency that are identified on a person’s green card will result in a loss of the person’s permanent resident status. Removing the conditions of a green card can be accomplished by filing a form; which form you file, however, will depend on the specifics of your circumstance. For example, if the changes are being made based on marriage, a Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence will need to be filed. If changes are being made for entrepreneurial purposes, a Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions will need to be filed.
Pozo Goldstein, LLP has over 90 years of combined experience helping people through all sorts of immigration cases. If you are seeking to establish residency, it is important to know that there are many difficult processes you will go through. You will greatly benefit from a New York immigration attorney from our firm on your side throughout the application process, we will be able to assist you and answer any questions you have.
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