Green Cards in the United States
Our mission is to help you or a family member obtain your United States Green Card from the U.S. government so you can live and work in the United States and/or keep your family together. You may also view our family based visas page for married visas or our fiance visas page.
United States Immigration Law Attorney For Green Cards
Our experienced immigration law firm and immigration attorney serve the entire United States in effectively getting family based, employment based, and business based green cards.
Free Green Card Consultation
If you’re not sure you’re eligible for a green card or are ready to apply, if you’re an employer looking to hire persons from outside the U.S., we can help you wherever you are in the United States from our South Carolina office. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation before you request a green card.
What You Should Know About Green Cards From The United States
There are several types of green cards available to eligible foreign nationals who wish to emigrate to the United States:
FAMILY SPONSORED IMMIGRATION
A person can become a permanent resident if he/she has a relative who is a U.S. citizen or is a legal permanent resident green card holder. There are two categories of obtaining a green card through a relative: limited and unlimited.
Unlimited Family Sponsored Immigration
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have to wait in “line” for a visa number; the only requirement is an approved visa petition from United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Immediate relatives are:
1. Spouses of U.S. citizens
2. Minor Children (under 21) of U.S. citizens
3. Parents of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is over 21)
Limited Family Sponsored Immigration
Relatives of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents must wait in “line” for an immigrant visa to become available.
The preference categories for visa numbers are as follows:
First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Second Preference: Spouses and unmarried children of legal permanent residents.
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Fourth Preference: Sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Derivative Beneficiaries: The spouse or children of the principal individual under the family sponsored preferences.
Please also see the Visa bulletin, which indicates if an immigrant visa for your category is available.
EMPLOYMENT BASED GREEN CARDS
An employer may sponsor an immigrant worker to come to the United States to work under a United States Green Card. Sponsoring employers needs to file a labor certification with the Department of Labor. Labor certifications are prepared and filed through a program called PERM.
The U.S. Department of Labor will approve a labor certification only if the employer can show:
1. That there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed and
2. That the immigrant worker will not displace any American workers. Evidence typically includes job postings, as well as training programs.
See also business based green cards below.
Once labor certification is approved, the employer can file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. In some cases, the immigrant petition Form I-140 may be filed at the same time as Form I-485, Adjustment of Status.
Once the immigrant worker is issued an immigrant visa number he/she can pursue a Green Card.
If the applicant is in the U.S., he/she can then apply for an adjustment of status.
If the applicant is outside the U.S. the applicant can apply for consular processing.
BUSINESS BASED GREEN CARDS
Several immigrant categories also exist for highly skilled workers, those with extraordinary ability in certain professions, and investors or entrepreneurs.
EB-1 Foreign Nationals of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and Multinational Executives and Managers
A person in this category can petition for a green card without having to go through the time-consuming labor certification process.
EB-2 Workers with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business
Visa holders in this category generally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process. The labor certification involves a testing of the job market to demonstrate that the potential visa holder is not taking a job away from a U.S. worker. In cases where an individual can show that his entry is in the national interest, the job offer and labor certification requirements can be waived.
EB-3 Skilled Workers and Professionals
Visa holders in this category generally must have a job offer and the potential employer must complete the labor certification process.
EB-4 Special Immigrant Visas for Religious Workers
Certain religious workers are eligible for U.S. legal permanent residency and green cards.
EB-5 Investor/Employment Creation Visas
Per year, 10,000 visas are set aside for alien investors who are ready and willing to invest in a new commercial enterprise. They must create employment for ten U.S. workers.
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