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Understanding Green Card Eligibility

Understanding Green Card Eligibility

Understanding Green Card Eligibility

Coming to the United States is a dream for many people across the globe. If you would like to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, obtaining a green card – if eligible – is the best course of action. At Vestal Immigration Law, we help clients in North Carolina obtain green cards for themselves or for their families.

Green Card Eligibility

Besides U.S. citizenship, one of the most coveted immigration statuses for those who seek to come and live in America is a green card holder or “lawful permanent resident.” Having a green card holder status means one can live and work permanently in the United States, unlike a temporary non-immigrant visa. The status also allows the holder to apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen if certain other requirements are met. For this reason, getting a green card status can be challenging.

To obtain a green card, one must go through several steps, and only after first meeting all the eligibility requirements for the green card. Eligibility depends on what basis one wishes to apply for the green card. There are several ways through which one can apply for and obtain a green card, including the following:

  • Family. Many relatives of U.S. citizens and some U.S. permanent residents are eligible to apply for a green card, however, not all relatives qualify. Rather, the immigration law confines qualifying relatives to be spouses of U.S. citizens, an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen who is under the age of 21 years old, or a parent of a U.S. citizen, provided the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old. These are known as “immediate relatives,” and they get priority processing – meaning their green cards are processed ahead of every other category. The other group of relatives who qualify for green cards are lumped into what is known as the “Preference Category,” and these include children of U.S. citizens who are not married and are 21 years or older, and spouses and unmarried children of green card holders who are under 21 years.
  • Employment. Another popular means of becoming a green card holder is through employment. To get a green card through this process, one must have a job offer from an American company that first must obtain what is known as “labor certification” from the U.S. Department of Labor. The documentation certifies that the American employer cannot find American workers to do the job offered and that the foreign worker offered the job will be paid prevailing wages.
  • Other. The above two categories are the most common people go through to get green cards, but others are migrating as a Special Immigrant or through other categories.

If you are in North Carolina and would like an evaluation of your eligibility for a Green Card or are thinking about applying for a green card, Vestal immigration Law can help. Please, contact us today for a consultation about your immigration options.

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