Understanding the Green Card Process

Anabelle B. Filbert's Immigration Legal Blogs

Licensed for 17 years

Attorney in Washington, DC

A green card is a certificate of permanent legal resident status that allows a non-citizen immigrant to remain in the United States indefinitely, subject to some restrictions.  Maintaining a green card is also a common method of obtaining United States citizenship through the process of naturalization.  But obtaining a green card in Washington, DC or anywhere else in the United States is a highly regulated process subject to federal law.  Navigating this process without the aid of a Washington, DC green card attorney can lead to mistakes that can increase processing time or, even worse, violate federal law.

 

The most common methods for a person to obtain a green card are through sponsorship by a family member or sponsorship by an employer.  Some refugees or individuals seeking asylum may also qualify for a green card without a sponsor, but this method is much less common and subject to many requirements.

 

Types of Green Cards

 

To obtain a green card through family, an individual must have a close family member who is a United States citizen.  Spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21 receive the highest priority.  Married children, children over the age of 21, and siblings of a U.S. citizen may also obtain a green card but the law strictly limits the number of green cards issued in this way annually.  A non-citizen permanent resident may also sponsor his or her spouse or unmarried children for a green card but this method is similarly limited.  Some other special categories for green cards are available as well.

 

Employers in the United States may sponsor non-resident current or prospective employees for green cards.  The process can differ greatly depending on whether the prospective resident is applying from inside or outside of the United States.  For American companies that regularly recruit from foreign countries, it is highly advisable to retain a green card law firm in Washington, DC for counsel regarding this process.

 

Some entrepreneurs who invest in American businesses may also petition for a green card, although this type of petition is strictly limited to 10,000 annually.  Moreover, some individuals of exceptional scientific, artistic, educational, business, or athletic ability may self-petition for a green card.  These types of petitions, however, are exceedingly rare.

 

 Experienced immigration attorneys in Washington, DC

 

The Washington, DC green card law firm of Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing may be able to help individuals who are seeking to enter the country, become permanent residents, or gain citizenship.  The firm serves clients in the Washington, DC area and throughout the United States.  Their offices are at 5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW in Washington, DC 20015.  They are available by phone at 202-536-3359 on through their online contact page.

A green card is a certificate of permanent legal resident status that allows a non-citizen immigrant to remain in the United States indefinitely, subject to some restrictions.  Maintaining a green card is also a common method of obtaining United States citizenship through the process of naturalization. 

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