Achieving permanent residence, also known as getting your green card, offers numerous benefits. You’ll be able to do everything a US Citizen can do, except vote and run for office. That means you can live here, work here, and go to school here without needing to get additional permits and visas. There are several methods to obtain a green card, and one of the services I provide to my clients is helping to discern which green card is right for you.
You can contact me, Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez, to discuss next steps on your permanent residence, or read on to find out more.
Two quick notes:
1: We can meet in-person, on Zoom, or by phone.
2: My legal fees DO include the translations of relevant documents.
Paths to Permanent Residence / a Green Card
There are eight categories of green card eligibility. They are:
- Family sponsorship
- Employment sponsorship
- Refugee or asylum status
- Human trafficking and crime victims
- Victims of domestic abuse
- Green card through registry
- Special immigrant category
- Special program categories
To be eligible for a green card via registry you must have resided continuously in the United States since before Jan 1, 1972.
The “special immigrant” category includes:
- Religious workers
- Abused, abandoned, or neglected juveniles who require the protection of a juvenile court
- Afghani nationals who worked for the US government
- Iraqi nationals who worked for the US government
- International broadcasters
- NATO employees or family members.
Special program categories include:
- The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness program
- The diversity visa program
- The Cuban Adjustment Act program
- The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act program
- Lautenberg parolees
- The Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000
- American Indians born in Canada
- Persons born to the United States to foreign diplomats
- Diplomats who cannot return home
As you can see, there can be many complications involved even to choose the right green card program to apply under.
The Green Card Application
Once we’ve determined that you’re eligible to apply under one of the green card programs, we’ll move on to helping you choose the right form or application to use. If you have a sponsor, such as a spouse or an employer, they will also have to fill out applications and forms.
You’ll need to provide evidentiary documents that back up any claims made on the form. You’ll also need to provide fingerprints, photos, and a signature.
Finally, you must attend a USCIS interview. It is a good idea to have an immigration lawyer present for the interview: The attorney’s presence tends to change the quality of the questions the immigration officials asks, and allows us to discuss the meaning of questions that might be unclear or designed to trip you up. I can also help you prepare for your immigration interview so you don’t make any of the most common mistakes.
When you get your green card you will be subject to certain responsibilities. They are:
- Reporting changes of address to USCIS within ten days of any move.
- Apply for a re-entry permit if you travel and plan to remain outside the US for more than a year.
- Obtain a Social Security number.
- Males between the ages of 18 and 27 must register with the Selective Service.
- Pay taxes. Permanent residence must be reported on your tax form.
Failing to meet these obligations could mean losing your permanent residence status, and could mean losing your pathway to United States citizenship, if you intend to pursue citizenship later.
It can be difficult to correct mistakes on immigration paperwork. In addition, many immigration officials tend to look for any reason to deny your green card petition.
Give yourself your best chance of attaining permanent residency. Reach out to my office here in Boston to schedule your first appointment today.