Each year individuals from countries throughout the world decide to take the steps necessary to try to obtain a green card. Securing a green card makes it possible for those individuals to live and work in the United States legally, in cities such as Miami. There are a couple different ways a green card can possibly be obtained.
The first way in which someone may obtain a green card is through the sponsorship of an employer. In other situations the sponsorship is by a family member. While a system is currently in place the turnaround time for actually obtaining such a card is quite lengthy. For one 36-year-old man originally from Mexico, that process has been ongoing since he was 17. It was then that he began the naturalization process with his father's sponsorship.
The issue behind the wait this man and many others face is the quotas placed upon the number of green cards handed out each year. At the time of his initial application, the man in the case was told that it would take between three and five years for his priority date to come up. Once the priority date is reached it takes another five years before a green card can be obtained.
The situation is even more complex for the man in this case due to the green card category he was placed in. Because his father himself only had a green card when the man submitted his application he was in a lower-priority group. When his father became a citizen of the U.S., because the man was by then 21-years-old, he could not be put on a faster track and was instead placed into the unmarried adult children of individuals who are citizens of the U.S. Additionally, the wait time for people from Mexico is one of the longest due to the high demand.
As this man's situation illustrates, seeking a green card is often a complicated matter. For that reason, anyone who is interested in exploring that option would probably benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.
Source: NBC News, "Waiting half a life for a green card: Families languish in immigration line," Miranda Leitsinger, April 12, 2013