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Green Card Eligibility

Golden Gate Bridge
There are many options available for a foreign national to obtain a Green Card, also known as a permanent resident card, however first they must be eligible to obtain one. A foreign national may be eligible because of his or her job offer or employment, asylum status, because of his or her family's status, and a few other categories.

The United States government has different priority levels for foreign nationals that qualify for a green card. Depending on which category they qualify for; i.e. family, employment, or asylum, his or her priority level may be high or low. This means that depending on which category he or she falls under will determine how long he or she may have to wait to obtain a Green Card.

The United States government usually gives the highest priority to applicants who are immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen. This means that a mother, father, brother, or sister would usually have less of a wait time than most other categories.

Apart from qualifying under on of the categories mentioned above (or one of the special ones not mentioned), there are other requirements that must be met by the applicant. Like obtaining a visa to obtain entry into the United States, the foreign national must have the proper documents completed.

If the foreign national already has a visa and is in the United States legally, he or she may apply for an adjustment of status by completing the proper forms. The foreign national will also be required to submit supporting documents to show that he or she qualifies for the category he or she applied for. After the documents are approved and all required fees are paid, the foreign national will be required to be fingerprinted.

If the foreign national is not living in the United States, then he or she may not be eligible for an adjustment of status. There may also be a number of other reasons why the applicant may not be eligible for an adjustment of status. For those that may not qualify for adjustment of status, there is another way to obtain a Green Card.

The foreign national may have to go through consular processing. This is where the United States Citizens and Immigration Services works with the United States Department of State to issue a visa on an approved immigrant petition when a visa becomes available.

The United States congress has set a limit in the number of certain visas that are issued. If the limit is reached, the Department of State issues a “cutoff date”. This means that a visa may be approved if the application was submitted before the “cut-off date”. If the application was submitted after the “cut-off date”, then the visa may not be approved.

In order to be sure that you meet the requirements for an immigrant Visa and/ or to properly file a petition, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from an experienced immigration attorney.

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advise. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.

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