- Green Cards
There are two primary categories of immigration: Immigrant
status and Non-immigrant status. Immigrant status allows
permanent residency in the United States. Non-immigrant status
provides an authorization to aliens for temporary residency that
expires upon the occurrence of a specific event.
Resident is commonly referred to as a "Green Card"
holder. Permanent residents have many rights which include the
There are four main categories for
green card permanent residency and even more subcategories under each main
category. The main green card categories include Family Sponsored
Immigration, Employment Immigration, DV Lottery, and Asylum and
- The right to
live in the United States permanently;
- The right to
reenter the United States after traveling out of the country
- The right to
apply for U.S. Citizenship after continuously living as a
Permanent Resident in the United States for five (5) years
- The right to
employment in any work that is legal;
- Family Sponsored
Immigration Green Card. Foreign family members of U.S. citizens
and permanent residents may qualify for an immigrant visa.
However, the United States sets strict limitations on the
number of immigrant visas allowed each year. The closer the
relative is the higher that person falls on the priority
scale for obtaining an immigrant visa. Immediate family
members of U.S. citizens are given the highest priority.
Foreign parents, children under the age of 18, and spouses
fall outside of the quota system and usually qualify quickly
for an immigrant visa. Extended family members of United
States citizens and family members of permanent residents
may also qualify. However, the waiting period may be much
longer. In some cases, the wait for a visa may exceed 10
years. The priority list for family sponsored immigration is
as follows: (1) F-1 - Unmarried Sons or Daughters of U.S.
Citizens over the age of 21; (2) F2-A -Spouses and
unmarried Children of Permanent Residents under the
age of 21; (3) F2-B -Unmarried Sons or Daughters of
Permanent Residents over the age of 21; (4) F-3 -Married
Sons or Daughters of U.S. Citizens over the age of
21; (5) F-4 - Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens.
The relationship is only one
criteria in determining preference. A second criteria
includes the country of the relative’s origin. Economically
poor countries such as China and India tend to have the
longest waiting periods.
Immigration Green Card.
Aliens seeking permanent residency in the United States
for employment purposes must fit into one of five
categories. The first category is "Priority Workers" which
includes Intra-Company Transferees of Managers and
Executives, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and
Aliens of Extraordinary Ability in the Sciences, Arts,
Education, Business and Athletics. The second employment
category is "Aliens of Exceptional Ability in the Sciences,
Arts or Business" which includes Professionals with advanced
degrees. The third category includes "Professionals with
Bachelors Degrees not qualifying in the 2nd Preference,
skilled workers, and unskilled workers in special needs
professions. The fourth category is very narrow encompassing
"Religious Workers" who are here to carrying out their
religious mission. Finally, the last category is based on
economic development and includes individuals who invest one
million dollars ($1,000,000.00)in a new "commercial
enterprise" or in a "troubled business" or those who invest
Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00) in a "new
commercial enterprise" or "troubled business" in a "targeted
DV Lottery Green
visas each year are available to those winning a Visa
Lottery. The number of lottery visas are apportioned to
countries that have fewer visa applicants. To apply, an
immigrant must fill out a number of forms detailing their
background with the INS. Each year lottery contestants are
drawn and notified if they have won. A winning alien may
make application for an immigrant visa.
Asylum status allows foreigners fearing persecution to seek
refugee status in this country. Foreigners outside of the
United States may seek refugee status. Foreigners already in
the United States may seek asylum to prevent deportation.
After approval of Refugee or asylum status, the alien is
allowed to enter or remain in the United States and may seek
an adjustment of their status to one of permanent residency
after one year.
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