Lawful permanent residence, commonly referred to as a Green Card, allows you to live and work in the United States, legally and permanently. There are numerous immigrant categories under which you may apply for a Green Card and several different application processes, depending on your situation.
If you are outside of the United States or ineligible to adjust your status in the U.S., you must apply for a Green Card at a U.S. Department of State consulate. This is called consular processing.
Establish Green Card Eligibility
The very first step of this process is to determine if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card. In most cases, immigrants establish eligibility through a petition filed on their behalf, though some other statuses and provisions will qualify you for lawful permanent residence. In addition to meeting other eligibility requirements, one of the following general immigrant categories must apply to you in order to be eligible for lawful permanent residence:
- Family: you are an immediate relative, fiancé/e, or widower of a U.S. citizen
- Employment: you are an immigrant worker, an immigrant investor, or a physician working in certain areas
- Special immigrant: religious worker, special immigrant juvenile, and more
- Refugee or asylee
- Victim of abuse
- Victim of crime or human trafficking
Consular Processing Eligibility
You may be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa through consular processing if:
- You already have received an approved immigrant petition
- An immigrant visa number is immediately available to you
- You are outside of the United States
- After determining your green card eligibility, your immigration petition must be submitted. In most cases, this petition will be filed by someone else on your behalf.
- You will be notified of the decision by USCIS. If your petition is denied, you may be given a chance to appeal the decision. Once you have received an approved immigrant petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center.
- You must wait until an immigrant visa number is available. The NVC will notify you when this immigrant visa number becomes available.
- Once the immigrant visa number is available, an interview will be scheduled for you at the consular office. You must attend your interview and the consular office will determine whether you are eligible for the immigrant visa.
- If you are granted an immigrant visa, you will be given a Visa Packet which you must present to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry. At this point, the CBP officer will determine whether you will be admitted into the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.
- Once you are admitted into the United States and your USCIS Immigrant Fee is paid, you will receive your Green Card in the mail.
How We Can Help
Youngblood & Associates will help guide you through the steps of seeking an immigrant petition, determine if you are eligible to apply for a Green Card, and assist you in seeking legal status through consular processing. Our team will work diligently to represent you as you seek a path to legal status in the United States.
Not sure what you need?
Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your FREE first consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.