For people living in the United States without legal citizenship, a green card can become a valuable piece of paper. However, the process for obtaining a green card can be difficult to understand.
A green card is the familiar name for what is formally known as a Permanent Resident Card. Once issued, the holder of the green card may live in the US as a permanent resident without obtaining formal citizenship. Green cards are issued for a variety of different classifications, with each classification having its own priority. The highest priority for obtaining a green card are immediate relatives of US citizens. This category includes widow and widower, parents of US citizens if the child is at least 21 years of age, stepparents and stepchildren of US residents. Other family members may apply for a green card, but the process can last from three to twenty-four years.
A person who possesses skills that are deemed to be necessary in the United States are also eligible to apply for a green card. A person who is seeking a green card in this category must show proof of a valid job offer. Workers in this category are assigned preferences. First preference includes workers with unique and advanced skills, second preference is assigned to professionals with extraordinary ability or an advanced academic degree. Third preference comprises skilled workers and professionals who do not qualify for Preference Two. The fourth preference includes people in religious vocations and certain special immigrants. The green card system also uses other classifications that cannot be enumerated in a brief blog post.
The best course for any immigrant who wants to obtain a green card is seeking advice from a lawyer who is experienced in immigration law.