Options to permanently reside as permanent residents (green card holders) in the United States and possibly become US Citizens in the future.
Filing for Permanent Residence in the United States through a family sponsored immigration process is a great way to obtain a Green Card to live and work in the United States. It is a complicated process, but a solid opportunity to gain permanent residence as quickly as possible. Eligible relatives are divided into two categories: Immediate Relatives and Family Preference relatives. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be issued to immediate relatives (spouses and minor children of US Citizens), giving applicants in this category an advantageous priority. Family preference relatives must wait for permanent residence (green card) to become available, a process that can take many years. Therefore, it is critical that you start immediately to make sure you get in line!
We are ready to help you build your life in the United States. Contact us online or call (310) 477-0047 to schedule an initial consultation today.
IMMEDIATE RELATIVES – MARRIED TO A US CITIZEN
If you have an immediate relative (US citizen spouse or parent) who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, they may be able to sponsor you for your Permanent Residence or what some may call a Green Card. United States Citizens can sponsor their spouses, children, parents, and siblings, while Lawful Permanent residents can only sponsor their spouses and unmarried children.
Depending if you file for permanent residence inside the United States through Adjustment of Status or outside through Consular Processing it is key to consult with our office to determine which process is most advantageous to you and your case. Watch founder immigration lawyer, Andrea Szew, explain the difference between the two options to permanent residence in this video How to get a Green Card! Learn how to become a United States Permanent Resident.
Having a spouse or parent that is a US Citizen is a great opportunity and allows for the easiest path to permanent residence (green card) in the United States. If you are in this category you should act now and apply to obtain your permanent residence today. Be aware that if you are sponsored by your spouse and your marriage is less than two years old, you will initially receive a conditional permanent resident card (green card) that expires after two years. You must then remove the conditions on that green card in the 90-day window before your permanent resident card expires.
Assistance with removing your condition on your Permanent Resident Card (green card) is available today. Contact us online or call (310) 477-0047 to start your application right away.
If you not married to a US citizen or a minor child of a United States citizen then are you:
- an unmarried son or daughter (not a minor) of a US Citizen
- Spouse and minor child of a permanent resident
- an unmarried adult son or daughter of a permanent resident
- a married son or daughter of a US Citizen
- a Brother or sister of a US Citizen and are 21 years of age or older
PERMANENT RESIDENCE PREFERENCE CATEGORIES
If you fall under one of the above permanent residence preference categories then you can still apply for US Permanent Residence and obtain a Green Card, it just sometimes takes a little longer and requires a different process. The class of your preference will be determined, depending on your relationship to the person sponsoring you. Spouses of United States Citizens or parents of United States Citizens have immediate access to permanent resident status, therefore, do not fall under any preference. However all the other relationships listed above fall under the following preference categories:
The First Preference is for unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens regardless of age.
The Second Preference includes two sub-categories: one for spouses and minor children of permanent residents; and the other for unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents.
The Third Preference category is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
The Fourth Preference is for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or over.
The current wait times for the above categories is listed on the Department of State website and is published monthly. It is a bit complicated to understand so do not hesitate to contact our office so we can assist you in determining which category you fall under and current wait times for each.
Our firm is ready to assist you with filing for your Permanent Residence (Green Card) today. Contact us online or call (310) 477-0047 to request an initial consultation with immigration attorney Andrea Szew – She is anxious to work with you to get you to where you want to be!
There are a number of ways to apply for Permanent Residence (commonly referred to as a Green Card) through employment sponsored immigration. There are even options for permanent residence without needing an employer sponsor (e.g. an individual that is extraordinary in their field). However, if you do not fall under that category, you will need to first determine which permanent resident category you fall under, and determine if you, and your sponsor employer, have the qualifications to have a successful application.
We are glad to evaluate your case and determine which category best fits your situation. Call our office (310) 477-0047 or contact us online to set up a consultation so we can help you determine which category will best work for you.
Permanent Resident Categories:
- a person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, art, education, business or athletics (EB1)
- an outstanding professor or researcher (EB1)
- a multinational executive or manager (EB1)
- a person holding an advanced degree (at least a masters degree) (EB2)
- a person with bachelors degrees (EB2)
- a Person with a position that requires at least 2 years of education, training or experience (EB3)
- a religious worker
- a large investor (EB5)
Dealing with the Department of Labor
To obtain permanent residence, a Green Card, through an employer sponsored petition, your employer will usually have to take steps to show that no US citizens qualify and are available to take the job they are offering to you. Once this is done, your employer will file a labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor to state that there are no qualified U.S. workers that can fill the position that your employer is sponsoring you for. For this reason, it is preferable to qualify under a permanent resident category that does not require this step with no required filings with the Department of Labor. All first, fourth and fifth preference immigrants, and some second and third preference immigrants, do not have to file Labor Certification applications or perform recruitment prior to sponsoring you.
If you have questions about obtaining Permanent Residence (a green card) through your employer, do not hesitate to call (310) 477-0047 or contact us online we are happy to help.
Employment Sponsored Permanent Resident Preference Categories:
The first preference (EB1) immigrant category is most desirable because it can be processed quickly. There are three groups: A) persons with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, art, education, business or athletics; B) outstanding professors and researchers; and, C) multinational executives or managers.
A) Persons of extraordinary ability (similar to the requirements for the O visa) in the sciences, art, education, business or athletics, do not require job offers and can process quickly. This category is available to that small percentage of applicants who have risen to the top of their field. The top of their field is a very complex qualification and needs to be analyzed carefully on a case by case basis.
B) More generous standards are available for outstanding professors and researchers with three years of teaching or research experience. A job offer for a permanent position from a U.S. research or teaching institution is required. Since no certification is required from the Department of Labor, these cases can be processed quickly.
C) Managers and Executives of companies with United States affiliates are eligible to obtain permanent residence under the first preference category if their services are required permanently by the United States company. They must have been employed by the overseas affiliate company for at least one of the three years immediately preceding their transfer to the United States, in a managerial or executive capacity. The United States company must also have been in existence for at least one year.
The second preference (EB2) visa category is for professionals holding an advanced degree (at least a Master’s degree) or a Bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of progressively senior work experience. Also, the job must require such qualifications. It is possible for individuals with exceptional abilities in the sciences, arts, or business to qualify under this category. This category usually requires a Department of Labor certification, although it is possible to obtain a waiver, if it can be shown that the employment of the applicant will be in the “national interest”, a very difficult qualification to prove.
The third preference (EB3) immigrant visa category usually requires a labor certification except for registered nurses and physical therapists. It is divided into three separate categories: A) one for professionals with Bachelor’s degrees; B) another for individuals performing a job which requires at least two years of education, experience or training; and C) one for other workers, including individuals performing jobs which require less than two years of education, training or experience. Persons in this last category are only eligible to compete for 10,000 visas. This has resulted in long waiting periods. However, there is no waiting line for most other employment third preference immigrants but labor certifications routinely take over two years to process.
The fourth preference (EB4) category includes the religious workers category. These “special immigrants” have a 10,000 annual visa limit. Ordained ministers, as well as other religious workers whose services are required by non-profit religious, or other qualifying, organizations can benefit. This includes ministers, religious professionals, and a broad range of religious workers. These two last groups will only be eligible until October 1, 2000. This is a very specialized area and our office should be contacted to determine if you qualify under this preference.
The fifth preference (EB5) category is for investment based residency. This category is discussed in detail HERE.
If you have questions about obtaining Permanent Residence (green card) through your employer, do not hesitate to call (310) 477-0047 or contact us online.
To obtain permanent residence through an investment is a very challenging path, but with the right situation it is a very attractive option. The Investor category is the fifth preference and is reserved for immigrants who make very large investments. 10,000 visas are allocated annually to individuals who invest $1 million and create at least ten new jobs. The law permits the amount to be reduced to $500,000 if the business is located in a rural area, or in an urban area with high unemployment. Many desirable areas have been designated as high unemployment areas which qualify investors to obtain immigrant visas with a $500,000 investment, provided they create 10 jobs. The requirement of ten full-time jobs, excluding independent contractors and immediate family members – is usually the obstacle. It is possible to qualify with investments in troubled businesses which lost at least 20% annually for two successive years prior to filing. Investments in troubled businesses sometimes allow an applicant to show that the ten jobs have been saved rather than created. It is important to note two things 1. This category provides for a conditional green card. Therefore, after Twenty-one months after approval, a new petition must be filed to remove the conditional nature of the visa and 2. It is not guaranteed if you have an E visa (Investor Non Immigrant visa) you will be guaranteed to get your green card through this preference.