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Getting Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card)

A green card, or permanent resident card, is a document that allows individuals to legally live and work in the United States permanently. This status provides many benefits that U.S. citizens enjoy, though green card holders cannot vote in federal elections. Still, this process can be a gateway to achieving your American dream.

At Rotella & Hernandez, LLC in Miami, our immigration lawyers work closely with clients and families on a wide range of immigration law issues, promptly answering questions and providing regular updates. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website offers comprehensive guides and forms, but navigating immigration law can be complex. Our team’s goal is making the application process less stressful.

Who Is Eligible For A Green Card?

Since each application is unique, it’s crucial to understand the categories under which eligibility for a green card falls:

  • Family-based: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21, have priority. Other relatives of U.S. citizens, such as siblings or married children, may also apply under different family preference categories. Lawful Permanent residents can petition their spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters under different family preference categories.
  • Employment-based: Professionals with job offers from U.S. employers, individuals with exceptional abilities and investors can apply for employment-based green cards. There are preference categories that prioritize these applications.
  • Refugee or asylee status: Those granted refuge or asylum can apply for green cards one year after their status is given due to fear of persecution in their home countries.
  • Diversity lottery: The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program provides another channel, especially for individuals from countries with low immigration rates to the U.S.

Not sure where you belong, or fit into more than one group? We can help determine the best option for you.

How Do You Apply For A Green Card?

The green card application process involves several steps, starting with eligibility determination. Here’s a simplified overview:

  • Petition: A family member or employer must file a petition on your behalf. For family-based applications, Form I-130 is used, and for employment-based applications, Form I-140 is used.
  • Visa application: Once the petition is approved and a visa number is available, the next step is to apply for an immigrant visa. If you’re already in the U.S., then you can adjust your status by submitting Form I-485.
  • Biometrics and interview: Applicants must provide fingerprints and body measurements and attend an interview at a local USCIS office, U.S. consulate or U.S. embassy.
  • Decision: After reviewing your application, USCIS makes its decision. If it’s approved, you will receive your green card.

Our immigration lawyers can help make sure that all requirements are met and assist in streamlining the process.

Let’s Start Today

The world is becoming a smaller place with people moving from place to place to work and live, and it makes sense that they want to bring family. Getting a green card or lawful permanent residence is part of that reality.

Contact our attorneys at Rotella & Hernandez Immigration and Family Law by calling 305-596-3618 or use our contact page to schedule an appointment at our Miami office. Se habla español.