Permanent Residency | Green Card
Family based lawful permanent residence (‘green card’) is available to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including spouses, unmarried children under 21, parents of U.S. citizens over 21, and spouses of deceased U.S. citizens in certain circumstances. It is also available to the following family members in order of preference:
1st preference category: unmarried children of U.S. citizens over 21 years
2nd preference category: spouses or children of ‘green card’ holders
3rd preference category: married children of U.S. citizens
4th preference category: siblings of U.S. citizens over 21 years.
The process is reasonably fast for immediate relatives but can take many years for preference immigrants.
There are 5 categories of employment based ‘green card’:
- First preference, priority workers, (EB-1), includes persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers
- Second preference, (EB-2), advanced degree or exceptional ability aliens
- Third preference, (EB-3), skilled workers, professionals and other workers
- Fourth preference, (EB-4), special immigrants, including religious workers, returning immigrants and others
- Fifth preference, (EB-5), investment and job creation
Unless labor certification (known as PERM) can be bypassed by filing a first preference petition, there are 3 stages to obtaining a ‘green card’:
- Labor Certification, now called PERM
- Immigrant Visa Petition; and
- Adjustment of Status (if physically in the U.S.) or Consular Processing (if abroad).
Obtaining an employment based ‘green card’ is a complex, lengthy and expensive process but unavoidable for those wishing to work and live in the U.S. permanently. Expert legal representation is essential.
Talk to Us About Applying For a Green Card