U.S. Permanent Residency Requirements | Employment-Based Green Card | Visa Applications

The term ‘green card’ is a common name for the Alien Registration Card. This card is awarded to legal permanent residents of the United States and is evidence of this status. The color of the card is not green, but in fact tan; although it was green many years ago. Until today, the term ‘green card’ is still used by both government officials and attorneys.

Clients seeking permanent residency (a green card) should contact us directly to discuss their specific situation. Persons seeking lawful resident status can do so in a variety of ways. The most common means include:

  • Employment-based and Employment creation:
    • Employment based immigrant visa (work visa) through the use of Labor Certification process and utilizing a process known as Program Review Electronic Management (PERM).>
    • Self-petitioning if you are considered Alien of Extraordinary ability, a Multinational Executive or Manager, or an Outstanding Professor or Researcher.
    • Self-petitioning if you are a person of exceptional abilities and performing work or research considered in the US National Interest. National Interest Waiver (NIW)
    • <Immigrant Investor or Entrepreneur. You may obtain a permanent residence if you invest $1 million in the US, although that amount may be $500,000 if the investment is made in a “targeted employment area.” Of the approximately 10,000 numbers available for this preference each year, 3,000 are reserved for entrepreneurs who invest in targeted employment areas.
  • Family petitions:
    • Through immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen such as a parent, son, daughter, or spouse, or through a fiancé of a US citizen or a sibling of a qualified citizen.
    • Through a permanent resident father or spouse.
    • Adoption.
  • Other methods:
    • Diversity lottery program. Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 50,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery administered by the state department.
    • Asylum petition. If you have a well-founded fear of persecution if you return to your country on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion you may be entitled to an asylum status in the US.
    • Violence against Woman Act (VAWA). If you are subject to abuse and you are a spouse child of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. You may self-petition for lawful status in the U.S. You may be entitled to the same benefits even within two years of getting a divorce.
    • Religious workers such as ordained ministers, Imams, Rabbis or similar classifications whose services are required by non-profit religious, or other qualifying organizations may obtain permanent residency.

Other means of obtaining permanent residence status may be available to you.