Green Cards / Permanent Resident Status
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After marriage to a US citizen on a fiancé visa / other valid visa typically takes 6-12 months.
Many of our clients are interested in obtaining a Green Card for a loved one. We can help in most situations with what the government refers to as Adjustment of Status.
If you are a US Citizen and your fiance came to the USA with a fiance visa, or if your spouse/fiancé is here or another visa (student, visitor, work etc...), then the Adjustment of Status option is appropriate.
This Adjustment of Status process is what is required to go from being a visa holder to obtaining a 'Green Card' or Permanent Residency.
Once obtained, your 'Green Card" spouse can work, travel in and out of the USA, and begin his or her life here.
The initial card is typically valid for 2 years.
In some cases a similar process can be used to keep a parent on a valid visa here as well. To learn more and discuss your options, feel free to ask.
Call us today for a consultation 888-902-9285.
If you’re like many people, you’d like to help someone you care about get a green card so they can live and work in the United States. There are many ways for people to get lawful permanent residency in the U.S., and this guide explains them.Green Cards: What You Need to Know
When a person becomes a lawful permanent resident of the United States, they receive a green card. A green card is a wallet-sized card that shows a person is authorized to live and work anywhere they want to in the United States. When a person has a green card, they don’t have to ask for special permission to change employers or switch jobs, and they can stay in the U.S. as long as they’d like to.Sponsors for Green Cards
Most people need to have a sponsor to obtain a green card. A sponsor is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States who’s related to the person who wants to also become a lawful permanent resident.
U.S. citizens are allowed to sponsor immediate family members to come to the U.S., including spouses and fiancés, children, parents and even siblings. Lawful permanent residents, or LPRs, are allowed to sponsor spouses and unmarried children.
Employers can also sponsor workers to get green cards.
Some people do not need sponsors to get U.S. green cards, such as immigrant investors. If you’re an immigrant investor, you should speak to an immigration attorney about your options. Additionally, people who have lived in the United States for several years (since before January 1, 1972) don’t need sponsors, and neither do asylees or refugees, victims of abuse or human trafficking, and some special immigrants.How Long are Green Cards Valid?
Green cards are generally valid for 10 years. After 10 years, you can renew your green card – you don’t have to reapply. You’ll get a new card in the mail and can continue to use it to verify your lawful permanent resident status.Conditional Green Cards
When you marry a U.S. citizen and receive a conditional green card, it’s valid for 2 years. You must meet certain conditions (meaning you generally have to remain married to the same spouse) for that time period, and you must apply to remove the conditions from your green card before it expires. If you fail to apply to remove the conditions on your green card, you become deportable – and that means the U.S. government can send you packing. (For the record, people who get green cards through the EB-5 investment program are also conditional residents who must remove the conditions from their green cards before they expire.)Can You Leave the U.S. if You Have a Green Card?
You’re free to come and go from the United States if you have a green card. However, if you’re going to be gone longer than 6 months, you may need to prove to the U.S. government that you don’t intend to abandon your U.S. residence. If you’re going to be gone for longer than a year, you should apply for a reentry permit before your trip so that you can establish the fact that you don’t intend to abandon your residence in the United States.Do You Need a Work Permit if You Have a Green Card?
You don’t need work authorization if you have a green card – your green card authorizes you to work anywhere you’d like.How to Get a Green Card in the United States
As long as you’re eligible for a green card, you can apply for one. These cards give you an official immigration status in the U.S. that entitles you to certain rights and requires you to uphold certain responsibilities. Green cards are also a stepping stone to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in the future.Should You Work With an Attorney to Get a Green Card?
Many people choose to work with an attorney to get a green card in the United States. That’s often because the application process is lengthy – and it can be complicated. Your attorney can fill out and file all the forms you need to apply for a green card, as well as give you the guidance you need for your interview.
You’ll need to provide your attorney with supporting documentation that helps U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services process your application. That information may include proof of your marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, proof that you’ve dissolved prior marriages, or birth certificates for your children. Your lawyer can tell you what kind of supporting documentation you need.How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card?
The processing time to get a green card in the U.S. varies greatly depending on the type of green card you need, as well as where you are when you apply. When you apply from within the United States, you’ll most likely obtain your green card through adjustment of status. Adjustment of status turns your current immigration status into lawful permanent resident status. This process can take about a year (give or take a few months), but the best way to find out how long your case will take is to speak with an experienced immigration attorney.
When you apply for a green card from outside the U.S., your wait time may be longer. Generally, it’s fastest if you’re the spouse or immediate relative of a U.S. citizen; otherwise, you’re subject to waiting for a spot to open up for you. Those wait times can vary greatly – and it may take years for your number to come up.Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Lawyer About Obtaining a Green Card in the U.S.?
If you’re pursuing a green card in the U.S., or if you’re interested in sponsoring a family member or employee, we may be able to help you. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation with a caring, knowledgeable immigration attorney who will give you the legal guidance you need to get started.