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Permanent Residency in the United States

Being a global center for opportunity, success and prosperity, the United States attracts millions of visitors and immigrants every year, hoping to participate in the American dream. In order to provide a means of access while maintaining legal limits and boundaries to residence capacity, the United States offers various forms of documentation and residency to those coming from other countries. One such type is known as permanent residency, providing the opportunity to work, study and live in the country without either the time limitations of a temporary visa or the irrevocable privileges of full citizenship.

Getting a Green Card for Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is documented by a green card, which gives its holder rights to enter and exit the country permanently as well as work and live in the United States without a time limit. Green cards are not usually used as a final achievement, but provide the last step before applying for full U.S. citizenship.

In order to apply for a green card, one must first meet the requirements by falling into one of several qualifying categories:

  • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens: Immediate family members of current U.S. citizenship have first priority for green card qualifications. This includes spouses, unmarried individuals with at least one citizen parent, parents of citizens, as well as stepchildren and adopted children of U.S. citizens.
  • Other family members: Any close relations that do not qualify under the category of immediate relatives.
  • Preferred employees and workers: Every year, there are 140,000 green cards available to individuals who have vocational skills that are needed for the U.S. market at that time. A job offer is required in order to qualify for these green cards.
  • Winner of green card lottery, given by ethnic diversity: There are approximately 50,000 green cards reserved for people wishing to emigrate from countries that have had the fewest immigrants to the United States in recent years.
  • Special immigrants: This category varies occasionally to make green cards available to people in special situations. As circumstances change, this category may change as well.
  • Refuge and asylum: The United States offers refuge and asylum in the form of green cards to individuals fleeing their home country for fear or reasons concerning persecution.
  • Long-time residents: Certain individuals who have resided in the United States undocumented for more than ten years may request permanent residency when facing immigration court proceedings. This remedy is also referred to as "cancellation of removal."
  • Special cases: Rarely, individuals belonging to the U.S. Congress may intervene on individual, extraordinary cases, helping someone obtain permanency residency for humanitarian reasons.

If you wish to begin the process of becoming a permanent resident of the United States of America, Houston green card attorney Susham M. Modi wants to help! Contact our firm today for a paid consultation.

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  • Susham Modi Receives
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  • Susham Modi
    Former Lawyer at
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