What are the different pathways to obtaining a green card?

green card

People who wish to live and work in the United States often aim to acquire lawful permanent resident status (LPR), otherwise known as a green card, as it is a legal pathway to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. LPR status has many benefits; however, qualifying for a green card can be challenging due to the strict eligibility criteria and the limited number of green cards issued each fiscal year. Please continue reading to learn about the different pathways that may be available to you to obtain a green card and discover how a determined Middlesex County, New Jersey, Green Card Lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances to maximize your chances of acquiring LPR status. 

What are the legal pathways to acquiring lawful permanent resident status?

For individuals born outside of the United States who want to make the U.S. their home, the first step to reside in the U.S. permanently is to obtain a green card. As mentioned above, getting LPR status can be demanding as you must meet specific eligibility criteria. Nonetheless, various pathways can lead to obtaining a green card despite the difficulties.

One of the most common pathways for obtaining a green card is through immediate relatives that are U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives may include spouses, children who are unmarried and under the age of 21, stepchildren, stepparents, and adopted children as long as the adoption takes place before the age of 16.

Another pathway for obtaining a green card is through employment. Individuals can seek a green card through a U.S. company as an employee if they possess job skills needed in the U.S. workforce, as they cannot find U.S. workers with the necessary skills to fill the position. However, it is critical to note that a job offer is required before you can seek a green card through this pathway.

Moreover, those classified as special immigrants can also seek LPR status. Special immigrants may include religious workers, foreign medical graduates, former international U.S. government workers, and retired employees of international organizations. Besides special immigrants, refugees and political asylum also warrant eligibility for a green card. Those who have had to leave their country of origin due to the fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group can apply for a green card one year after receiving their status as refugees and asylees.

Can I obtain a green card through the diversity immigrant visa program?

Fifty thousand green cards are available yearly through the diversity visa or the green card lottery. It is critical to note that only citizens of particular can apply for the diversity visa. The green card lottery selects individuals randomly. If you are one of the lucky foreign-born chosen individuals through this process, you can be issued a green card. Nonetheless, you must complete your application on time to achieve LPR status as you compete with other randomly selected winners.

If you want a green card, contact a dedicated Middlesex County green card lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, today to discuss the potential legal pathways for acquiring LPR status.

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