Information on Green Cards / Legal Permanent Residence
Legal permanent residence (LPR) status allows green-card holders to stay in the United States permanently. LPRs can also work in the U.S. and travel in and out of the country. There are different ways of obtaining LPR status, including family connections, employers, the diversity visa lottery, and asylum.
Family-Based Immigration: For individuals currently present in the US, adjustment of status to LPR may be available through qualifying relatives who are either LPRs or U.S. citizens. The following is a brief overview of the process:
- File I-130, Petition for Family Relative;
- File I-485, Application for Permanent Residence.
- Categories: Spouse, Child, or Consular Process.
Employment-Based Immigration: Individuals with special knowledge or skills needed by a U.S. employer may be able to obtain LPR status based on their special knowledge or skill. The process of obtaining LPR status based on employment is normally comprised of a three phase process:
- Labor Certification through the Department of Labor;
- I-140 Visa Petition; and
- I-485 Application for Permanent Residence.
There are five categories of foreign national workers that may seek lawful permanent residence through employment:
E-1 Priority Workers
- Workers with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts education, business, or athletics.
- Outstanding Professors and Researchers.
- Certain Transferring Multinational Executives & Managers.
E-2 Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability
- Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession.
- Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
E-3 Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)
- Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
- Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.
- Unskilled workers (Other workers) are persons capable of filling positions that require less than two years training or experience that are not temporary or seasonal.
E-4 Certain Special Immigrants
- Religious Visas
- Battered Spouses
- Widow Petitions
- Other Special Immigrants
E-5 Immigrant Investors
- Immigrant Investor visa categories are for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide job creation. U.S. immigration law makes visas available to immigrant investors seeking to enter the United States to engage in new commercial enterprises that benefit the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment.
Diversity Visa Lottery Program: This category allows 55,000 people a year from underrepresented countries, to adjust to LPR status. Eligibility is based on the applicant’s country of origin and certain educational requirements. Applications are accepted at a certain time of the year and those selected for this benefit are chosen randomly.
Asylum: Asylum is a form of relief available either while in removal proceedings or before. An affirmative asylum application is filed before removal proceedings begin. Affirmative applications must be filed within one year of entering the U.S. unless showing extraordinary circumstances related to the delay. The granting of asylum is based on either past persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of a protected class. The protected classes are:
- National Origin;
- Membership in a Particular Social Group; and/or
- Political Opinion.
If you would like more information on these visas and if you or a family member qualifies to become a Legal Permanent Resident, call us today and schedule a consultation. We'd be happy to help your American dream come true!