Obtaining A Green Card
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs or green card holders) can petition for certain family members to receive lawful permanent resident status, which will allow them to live and work in the U.S. The process for U.S. citizens and LPRs to file petitions for their spouses to obtain a marriage-based green card.
The immigration process for a foreign national married to a U.S. citizen or LPR may be complicated, and the respective immigration process depends on a variety of factors.
You may want to seek the assistance of a Michigan green card lawyer such as Kaur Law PC. However, the basic procedures for U.S. citizens or LPRs to petition for their foreign national spouse is explained here to provide you with a general understanding.
For an assessment of your situation, or for assistance, please contact the immigration attorneys in our office to schedule a consultation.
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Green Card Eligibility
Green card applicants must determine eligibility before beginning the application process. Many applicants apply based on familial relationships, but employment visa holders may also be eligible.
Family members are eligible to apply for a green card if they are closely related to a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident. Spouses and children, as well as elderly parents, may apply for a green card based on their relationship to the U.S. citizen.
Siblings of a US citizen are eligible if their brother or sister is 21 years of age or older. It is important to note that relatives of LPRs may also qualify for a green card based on their relationship.
Individuals with permanent work visas may apply for a green card. Workers with extraordinary ability, holders of advanced degrees, and skilled employees are eligible. However, preference will be given to employees with advanced degrees and considerable experience.
Refugees and asylees are eligible for an adjustment of status after remaining in the United States for at least a year after they are granted access to the country. Survivors of crimes and human trafficking are eligible if they have the requisite non-immigrant visa. In some situations, abused spouses, parents, and children of a U.S. citizen may apply for a green card by self-petitioning. Kaur Law PC can help someone determine if they are eligible to apply for a green card.
Process Of Obtaining A Green Card
The first step for a U.S. citizen or LPR to sponsor his or her foreign national spouse for LPR status (i.e. a green card) is the filing of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This petition must be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the U.S. (Note that a very limited number of U.S. Consulates will allow certain U.S. citizens to file this petition directly with the Consulate.) The purpose of this petition is to establish the bona fide nature of the marriage, to confirm that it is a “real” marriage and not one entered into merely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
Once it is determined that the marriage is bona fide and the petition is approved, either USCIS (or the Department of State) must determine whether the foreign national spouse qualifies for LPR status under the law, and whether he or she merits approval. Please note that a foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen is not entitled to a green card/LPR status; LPR status is considered a discretionary benefit, and unless there are compelling negative factors, discretion is generally favorably exercised, resulting in an approved application.
The rest of the process, which may occur concurrently with the filing of the I-130, depends on a variety of factors. Our dedicated attorneys at Kaur Law PC in Michigan can definitely help someone with the LPR process.
Schedule a consultation with our skilled green card attorneys today and let us guide you towards a successful and stress-free immigration process. Your future in the United States begins here