A guide on obtaining Green Cards for foreign nationals
The most demanded card across the globe for years has been the “Green Card” which permits a foreign national to live & work permanently & lawfully in the U.S.
The U.S. Government issues more than one million green cards every year to:
- Family members of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (currently holding Green Card)
- Workers from across the globe who are seeking employment in the U.S.
Time Frame for Green Card Approval
You can apply for a Green Card in two ways:
Apply from within the U.S.
If the U.S. Citizen is applying for a Green Card from within the U.S. for the spouse, parents, & minor children, the waiting period is usually 12-22 months.
If the individual is a Lawful Permanent Resident (currently holding a green card) and applying for a Green Card for the spouse, then the waiting period is usually two or more years.
Refer to the form I-485 if you are applying from within the U.S.
Apply from outside the U.S.
If the U.S. citizen is applying for the spouse, parents, and minor children from outside the U.S. via consular processing, the wait is usually 9-12 months. However, the waiting period varies from country to country.
If the individual is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and applying from outside the U.S. for the spouse, then the waiting period may be more than a year.
Refer to the form I-130 if you are applying from within the U.S.
Types of Green Cards
There are various categories in Green Cards and let us walk you through the important ones.
1. Family-Based Green Card
Immediate family members of green card holders – spouse and children are eligible to apply for a Family-Based Green Card. Under certain circumstances, a widowed partner who was married to a U.S. citizen at the time the citizen died is also eligible to apply for Green Card.
The spouses of those living U.S. citizens & LPR can apply for a marriage-based green card.
2. Employment-Based Green Card
In this category, multiple subcategories of workers are eligible to apply for employment-based green cards.
At Salinas Law Firm, we can help you obtain different subcategories of employment-based green card. We provide assistance with H1B Visas, H-1C Visas, H-2A Visas/H-2B Visas, H-3 Visas, L Visas, E1 & E2 Visas, J-1, P & O Visas.
3. Humanitarian Green Cards
These green cards are especially for:
- Refugees & asylees
- Human-trafficking victims
- Crime victims
- Abuse Victims
4. Diversity Lottery Green Card
In the Diversity Visa Lottery program, the government of the U.S. randomly selects up to 50,000 people from a pool of applicants for the Diversity Lottery Green Card. It includes 6 vast geographic regions, naming a few Asia, Africa, and Oceania.
5. Long-time Resident Green Card
Individuals who have lived in the U.S. since 1st Jan 1972 can apply for a permanent resident green card through a special process called “Registry.” An individual applying for this category of green card has to meet the following criteria:
- Entered the U.S. prior to Jan. 1, 1972
- Haven’t left the U.S. since the arrival
- Not involved in any crime, fraud, or offensive activities
- Be a person of good moral character
6. Other Green Cards
Apart from the above categories, the U.S. government issues different types of green cards for special immigrants like media professionals, religious workers, Cuban natives or citizens, American Indians born in Canada, person born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S., and many more.
Can I apply for Green Card through a law firm?
The best & effective way to get a Green Card is to consult a law firm. A law firm attorney will guide you through the entire process & required documents for a green card, drastically improving your chances of obtaining a Green Card.
At Salinas Law Firm, our experienced attorneys have helped hundreds of individuals obtain Green Cards. We are one of the best immigration law firm in Houston, Texas, providing some of the best immigration services in Houston, Texas.
We offer consultation regarding a wide range of immigration services & legal issues throughout Houston, Sugarland, and surrounding areas & throughout the state of Texas. We are with you right from the beginning and will guide you throughout the entire green card process.
Contact us to hire one of the best immigration lawyers in Houston and get a consultation regarding the green card and any other immigration visa service, or legal issues. You can reach out to us via phone at 713.518.1711