The United States Lawful Permanent Residency card, also known by its informal name “Green Card” is a document which makes it possible for foreign nationals to live and work in the United States of America. Given the amount of interest for Green Card from people all around the world it is not unexpected that obtaining it might prove to be a bit of a challenge. In this article we will list a number of relevant facts which should help you get more acquainted with the process.
1) You stand better chances if you are related to a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder
In order to apply for getting a Green Card, you need to find a petitioner who will submit the petition for you. This can be your prospective employer or a relative which resides in the U.S. As an effort to promote family unity, the U.S. government reserves a number of Green Cards for the immediate relatives of the U.S. residents, which means that they can skip regular queues and easily obtain the document.
2) Investing money in the U.S. economy or being a distinguished person can help you
There are cases in which a person applying for permanent residency can petition for himself/herself. The person should either be an investor (ready to invest 500,000 dollars in a targeted employment area, or 1,000,000 dollars in an area of their choice, creating 5 and 10 new jobs, respectively), or an expert in their field of interest – an exceptional scientist, researcher, religious worker, etc.
3) Your country quota might influence your chances to get a Green Card
The U.S. government controls the amount of immigrants coming from certain parts of the world in an effort to maintain diversity of the population. If your country is among those with a lot of U.S. immigrants, you might stand smaller chances of getting permanent residency quickly.
4) Every year, the Green Card Lottery awards some of its participants with Green Cards
The Diversity Immigrant Visa program, better known as the Green Card Lottery is a US government sponsored initiative to encourage immigration from parts of the world which are less represented in the U.S. resident ethnic structure. You have a chance to apply for and win the lottery (which grants you a Green Card without most of the paperwork and waiting) if you are a resident of the country which didn’t give more than 50,000 immigrants in the previous five year period.
5) You need to actually reside in the U.S. if you want to keep the Green Card
Being absent from the United States for a period longer than 180 days during one year can cost you your Green Card, unless you can prove that the circumstances were beyond your control.
Considering that the amount of paperwork necessary for obtaining a Green Card can sometimes be daunting, it is advisable that the applicant seeks professional assistance. Possibly the wisest thing to do is to seek help from immigration lawyers who are experienced in this procedure and will save you from additional stress caused by it.