close up of statue of liberty black and white

Achieving permanent residence and citizenship is something many immigrants dream of. As such, understanding what you can do to help improve your chances of becoming a citizen is crucial. One way to obtain permanent residence is through a Green Card. The following blog explores some standard methods to receive this key to residency. You’ll also discover how a New York City green card lawyer can assist you through this challenging process.

What Is a Green Card?

A Green Card is a term for a permanent residence card that allows non-citizens to work and live in the United States. The color of the physical card is a shade of green, which is where the term Green Card comes from. If you have this document, you are considered a lawful permanent resident of the country.

How Can I Obtain One?

Obtaining a Green Card is not a simple process, unfortunately. In some instances, this can take up to two years, and those that apply may be denied. As such, understanding the eligibility requirements and necessary steps to apply can help you through this complex process.

To determine if you are eligible for a Green Card, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Immediate family member of a United States citizen
  • You have received an offer for permanent employment or hold extraordinary abilities in your field
  • You are a refugee or are seeking asylum
  • You have been a victim of trafficking

The United States also offers something called the Diversity Visa Lottery or “Green Card Lottery.” Essentially, the United States awards 50,000 immigrant visas per year. To apply, you must be a citizen of a country with low immigration rates and have a high school diploma or work experience.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residency, you can apply for a form I-485 and an immigrant petition form. Unfortunately, these documents are extremely complex, and making one mistake can invalidate your application.

Once the documents have been filed, you must have your biometric data collected. This includes fingerprints, photos, and signatures. After this has been collected, you will be interviewed by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer. Following your interview, a decision will be made regarding your application.

What Should I Do if I Need Help?

It’s important to note that if you receive a permanent residency card, you must renew it before the expiration date, as renewal can take anywhere from six months to a year.

When applying for a Green Card, ensuring you take the necessary steps to increase your chances of receiving this document is crucial. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to help you file your application.

At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we understand how complex and confusing immigration law can be. That’s why we’re ready to help those looking to obtain residency. Contact us today to learn how our dedicated legal team will fight for you.