Are You Eligible for a Green Card?
A green card is a prized identifier that states that you are a permanent resident of the United States of America with full rights to enter and exit as you please, as well as work and live in the USA. You can also use a green card as a first step toward applying for citizenship. If you are interested in finding out whether you qualify for a green card, you should contact an immigration lawyer in Houston to determine your specific eligibility. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the application process and determine what, if anything, you need to do in order to get your green card.
The easiest way to qualify for a green card is if you have an immediate family member who is already a United States Citizen. Some of these situations include spouse, parents, and children. Filling out the paperwork is the only thing standing in the way of an immediate family member receiving a green card. The process tends to go fairly quickly in these situations.
If you have relatives who are United States citizens, there are a few other situations in which you can qualify for a green card, even if the above family member qualifications do not apply to your situation. The process often takes longer and there are a limited number of green cards available in several categories per year. The current US citizen needs to fill out a visa petition in order for you to apply for a green card. The application process is first come, first served, so if one of these situations pertains to you, it is advisable to apply quickly. The wait time on these applications varies.
You can also qualify for a green card if you have a particular skill that is in demand in the United States. A limited number of green cards are available and usually require a job offer. First priority in this category are those persons with outstanding specific talents and abilities. A workplace green card could take years of waiting to get approved.
You may qualify for a green card if you fall under a special category that the court deems acceptable, such as if you are a child under the care of a juvenile court. There is also a category referred to as the Green Card Lottery that helps to promote ethnic diversity in the United States. If you have great fear of persecution in your home country and can prove it, you may qualify for a green card under the category of refuge and asylum.
Amnesty is a sticky subject that in some situations may provide opportunity to get you a green card, as well as special agricultural workers. If you have been a long-term resident of the United States without a green card as an illegal immigrant or legally with an extended visa, there may be situations in which you can qualify for a green card as well.
Even when all these options have been exhausted, an immigration lawyer may be able to help in your specific case.