A Permanent Resident Card is more commonly known as a “green card.” The card is issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to all permanent residents as proof that they are authorized to live and work in the United States. For most immigrants, obtaining a green card is the first step towards becoming an American citizen. Many applicants for green cards are sponsored by family members or employers in the United States, but certain other types of immigrants can also be eligible for green cards in limited circumstances, including immediate relatives. It is important to understand one’s preference category.
If you or a loved one are applying for a Permanent Resident Card in Raleigh, Charlotte and Orlando, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel before filing any paperwork. Our immigration lawyers in Raleigh, Charlotte and Orlando help immigrants from many different countries successfully navigate the green card process. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (919) 989-3000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
In order to obtain a green card, an applicant must be eligible under one of a number of different categories. For example, an immigrant may be able to apply as one of the following if he or she satisfies the necessary definitions:
Green cards through employment are also available depending on an immigrant’s preference:
Two other employment green cards include the Physician National Interest Waiver if an applicant is a physician who agrees to work full-time in clinical practice in a designated underserved area for a set period of time and also meets other eligibility requirements, and the Immigrant Investor, if the applicant has invested or is actively in the process of investing at least $1 million (or $500,000 in a targeted employment area,) in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. which will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.
Some of the other special immigrant categories for which immigrants may be eligible for green cards include:
Green cards are also made available through the following categories:
The green card application process can vary depending on certain factors. For example, an immigrant currently outside the United States will need to apply through Consular processing with the U.S. State Department.
An immigrant within the United States who already has an approved immigrant petition can file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS when an immigrant visa is available. An immigrant in the United States who does not have an approved immigrant petition must check the eligibility requirements for his or her Green Card category to see if he or she can file the petition and the Form I‑485 together at the same time (also known as concurrent filing).
In general, the green card process typically begins with a family member or employer filing an immigrant petition. After USCIS approves the petition and a visa becomes available, the immigrant files a green card application with USCIS. The immigrant then goes to a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photos, and a signature before attending an interview. The immigrant will then receive a decision on his or her application.
A green card provides an immigrant with the right to permanently work and live in the United States, sponsor other relatives seeking green cards, and the ability to seek U.S. citizenship. Green card holders, however, cannot vote in federal elections and are not immediately eligible for certain public benefits.
North Carolina and Florida – Raleigh Field Office | USCIS — The USCIS Raleigh Field Office serves the triangle area. In order to visit this office or to speak with an immigration services officer, you are required to have an appointment scheduled by USCIS or schedule an InfoPass appointment. You can file a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, online through the USCIS website.
USCIS Raleigh Field Office
301 Roycroft Dr, Durham, NC 27703
Diversity Visa Program Statistics | State Department’s travel website — The U.S. Department of State annually administers the Congressionally-mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, more commonly referred to as the green card lottery. The DV Program is the first step in pursuing a diversity immigrant visa, a visa provided to a class of immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Visit this section of the State Department website to view DV Program statistics such as the number of online entries received during each registration period, number of selected entrants for recent dv programs, and number of visa issuances and adjustments of status in the diversity immigrant category.
Are you or your loved one seeking a green card in Raleigh, Smithfield, Charlotte or Orlando? You will want to immediately contact The Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC. Our Raleigh, Smithfield, Charlotte and Orlando immigration attorneys help individuals in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida including Raleigh, Smithfield, Charlotte, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Greensboro and numerous others.. Call (919) 989-3000 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.