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Learn your Basics on Applying for a Green Card

Obtaining a green card is a life-changing event that allows the bearer to remain in the United States permanently. To be granted this privilege, you must meet a number of standards, each of which is accompanied by a substantial amount of evidence. Simple mistakes, missing paperwork, or wrong documents on a green card application can push an applicant back a long way and cause a sequence of setbacks over minor issues.

The best approach to guarantee that your application is reviewed quickly and that you have the highest chance of getting approved the first time is to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. We’ll walk you through each stage of the green card filing process, ensuring that you’ve included all required paperwork, completed all deadlines, and successfully presented all pertinent information. Talk to us at Gateway Immigration Law Firm for more information.

What is a Green Card?

green card filing processAlso known as “Permanent Residence Card,” it allows an immigrant to live and work permanently in the United States. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), sometimes called “green card” holders, are non-natural citizens who are legally permitted to live permanently in the U.S. Accepting employment offers, owning property, receiving financial help at public colleges and universities, and entering the military are all open to LPRs.

Your lawful permanent residence status is also the initial step toward citizenship. In three to five years after receiving a green card, an individual can begin working toward citizenship. 

A green card is granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Unless issued through marriage or another conditional green card, which must be replaced within the first two years, a green card must be renewed every ten years.

Types of Green Cards

For a short review of some of the most prevalent forms of green cards issued, see the list below.

  • Family-Based Green Card 

This form of green card allows relatives of those who are already a US citizen or possesses a green card to apply for their own permanent residency card. Spouses, children, siblings, and parents are among the family members eligible for this form of green card. It also covers qualifying spouse, children, and siblings. Distant relatives are not qualified for family immigration.

  • Employment-Based Green Card 

There’s a variety for this type of green card available, depending on the applicant’s profession, experience level, and specialization. Because there are so many different forms of this type of green card, it’s advisable to speak with a Missouri green card attorney to determine which employment-based immigration is right for you.

  • Diversity Lottery Green Card 

This is a project that picks an estimated number of 50,000 individuals each year at random from a range of countries. The lottery’s “diversity” goal requires the candidate to be from a country with historically low immigrants to the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Green Card

The following questions may be asked during your initial appointment. Please bear in mind that all these inquiries are specific to your case, therefore the only option to get an appropriate response is to consult an immigration attorney soon.

What does a green card allow me to do?

You can live, work, and go to school in the U.S. if  you have a green card. You do not need to apply for other permits, such as a work visa or a student visa. However, you do not have all of the rights that a U.S. citizen does. For example, you are unable to vote in local, state, or federal elections in the United States.

I am a VISA-holder, is a green card still needed?

This accreditation is only temporary if you have a “nonimmigrant” visa, therefore you must plan ahead before it expires or ends. If you’ve had an active and valid work visa, you can get a job in the U.S. till it expires. If you intend to stay and work permanently in the U.S., it is required to file for a permanent residence card. It is also an important step in the process of becoming a citizen of the United States.

How do I apply for a Green Card?

You must be eligible for one of the categories to apply for a Green Card. Once you’ve found a category that fits you, know the qualifying requirements, how to apply, and whether you may bring family members with you.

If you are eligible, submit a Form I-485 – Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), along with any supporting documentation and fees.

Your application will be reviewed by USCIS, and you will be scheduled for an interview.

Your Green Card will be valid for ten years after it is issued.

If I’m not eligible to apply for a green card, what are my options?

There are a variety of alternative options depending on your personal situation that will allow you to move to the United States, keep your job, go to school, or do business. If permanent resident status is not a possibility, you should consult an attorney. You may be qualified for a visa that will help you in achieving your objectives. 

Do Green Cards expire?

It is usually valid for ten years, after which you must apply for a new one. Your privileges as a permanent lawful resident, on the other hand, don’t really terminate with the card. If you acquire a green card, your citizenship is permanent, unless you are guilty of certain forms of fraud or other illegal activity, in which case your green card may be revoked.

How to renew my Green Card?

Green card renewals in St. Charles, Missouri, can be difficult. As such, we advise consulting with a US immigration and citizenship lawyer. Six months prior to your current green card expires, you should start the application process for a new one. Green cards can be renewed through the mail or online.

If on-line:

  • Create an account on the USCIS website for immigration services. 
  • Print and fill out Form I-90.
  • You’ll need to submit proof of your green card, including a photo of it or a duplicate of it that hasn’t expired.
  • Double-check that you’ve signed your application.
  • Make any payments that are related to the application renewal.
  • Pass your application.

If by mail:

  • Get a copy of Form 1-90 or print one.
  • Fill out and sign the green card application.
  • Make a duplicate of your records.
  • Make a duplicate of your current green card, expired green card, or other proof of your immigration status.
  • Send your application to the USCIS office in your area.

How long does it take for a green card to be released?

According to the USCIS website, it may take up to 120 days from the date of application to receive a green card. Other reasons, though, may cause the procedure to be delayed, and it can take a year or longer. The United States government, for example, temporarily halts the immigration process. In the past, errors in application materials have resulted in major delays and denials.

File your Green Cards today with your trusted Immigration Attorneys in St. Charles, Missouri!

Thousands of Missouri citizens have trusted Gateway Immigration Law Firm to handle their legal concerns for over 15 years. Our caring Missouri immigration lawyers are ready to assist you in obtaining a green card and becoming a citizen of the United States, and a lot more. Whether it’s about U.S. citizenship, Green Cards, adjustment of status, or family-based visas, our attorneys will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Are you wondering if you qualify for a green card? Our St. Charles immigration lawyer will guide you through the green card filing process and get you started on the road to citizenship in the United States. Schedule a consultation with us today to begin your immigration process!

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