NYC & Great Neck Green Card Lawyer

Individuals seeking to become permanent residents of the United States have several options for doing so. Applying for and obtaining a Green Card grants permanent residents the freedom to live and work in the U.S. on an indefinite basis, and carries a number of benefits, including employment opportunities and security for your family. However, the process of securing a Green Card is complicated and requires applicants to carefully adhere to certain procedures and deadlines.

The Rahimi Law Firm, P.C., is a full-service law firm representing clients in various immigration-related matters. We’re committed to providing attentive, detail-oriented legal services to individuals seeking permanent residency within the U.S. Contact us today to arrange a consultation to discuss your situation and learn more about your legal options.

What Exactly Is a Green Card?

A Green Card (also known as a Permanent Resident Card) allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. There are several ways to obtain a Green Card, including:

  • Sponsorship by a close family member who is a U.S. citizen or current Green Card holder
  • Sponsorship by a U.S. employer who has offered you a job
  • Investment in a business creating new jobs for U.S.-based workers
  • Selection by random lottery through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
  • Seeking permanent residency as a refugee or asylee

In addition to offering the ability to live and work anywhere in the U.S., a Green Card protects your rights under U.S. laws and offers a path to U.S. citizenship. Green Card holders may also sponsor certain family members for their own Green Cards, helping reunite families.

To keep your Green Card, you must follow a number of rules. For example, you must avoid violating criminal statutes, maintain permanent residence in the U.S., and inform U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of any changes to your address.

Getting a Green Card Through Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is the most common pathway for obtaining a U.S. Green Card. If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or current Green Card holders, they may sponsor you by filing a petition.

U.S. citizens may sponsor their spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Green Card holders are eligible to sponsor their spouses and certain unmarried children.

The U.S. relative must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS. This proves the relationship between the sponsor and the beneficiary.

Family-based categories are subject to annual caps, and the government issues visas in the order in which they receive petitions.

Once a visa becomes available, you can apply for an Adjustment of Status to permanent resident if you are already in the U.S. or undergo consular processing if you are abroad.

Getting a Green Card Through Employment Sponsorship

If you are seeking a Green Card through employment sponsorship, you need to meet specific criteria involving your qualifications and the nature of the job offer you receive.

For starters, you must have a genuine full-time, permanent job offer from a U.S. employer who’s ready to sponsor you. Your sponsoring employer must submit an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, to USCIS. This demonstrates the employer’s intent to hire you on a permanent basis.

For most employment categories, your employer must confirm that no qualified U.S. workers are available for your position, and that employing you won’t adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly-employed American workers.

You must qualify under one of the three main employment-based categories, which they prioritize from EB-1 to EB-3: 

  • EB-1 – Priority workers, including those with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers
  • EB-2 – Professionals who hold advanced degrees or individuals with exceptional ability
  • EB-3 – Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers

If USCIS approves your I-140 petition and a visa number is available, you can apply for an Adjustment of Status to permanent resident if you are already in the U.S. or go through consular processing if you are outside the U.S. 

Getting a Green Card Through Investment

The EB-5 program represents another employment-based route to obtaining a U.S. Green Card. To qualify, you must invest a minimum of $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which includes rural areas and regions with high unemployment. For investments outside of these specified areas, the required amount rises to $1,050,000.

Your investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers within two years. You must actively participate in the enterprise’s day-to-day management or policy-making and demonstrate that the invested funds are from lawful sources.

Getting a Green Card Through the Diversity Lottery

The Diversity Lottery annually provides 50,000 Green Cards to individuals from nations with historically low immigration rates to the U.S. To qualify, applicants must have either a high school education (or equivalent) or two years of work experience in a qualifying profession.

Entry into the lottery requires submitting an application during a specified window each year. Winners gain a direct pathway to U.S. permanent residency and help to diversify the immigrant population.

Getting a Green Card Through Asylum

Individuals to whom the government has granted entry to the U.S. as an asylee or refugee due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country can apply for a Green Card one year after obtaining their current status. Among other requirements, applicants must demonstrate continued eligibility for asylum to adjust their status to permanent residency.

Contact a New York Immigration Lawyer Today

The process of obtaining a Green Card can be complicated and time-consuming, and the requirements vary depending on your pathway of choice. Adhering to accuracy in your paperwork and meeting all applicable deadlines is crucial if you hope to successfully complete the process. The Rahimi Law Firm, P.C., can help. Our team is here to support you through every stage of the process of applying for your Green Card. Contact us today to get started with a consultation.