For many people looking to start a new life here in the United States, the goal -- or perhaps more aptly stated, the dream -- is to secure permanent residence. As understandable as this is, it's nevertheless important for people to understand that this process, while not impossible, is still not easy.
In today's post, the first in a series, we'll begin taking a closer look at the eligibility requirements that must be satisfied in order for a person to secure a green card, the term used to describe the immigration document granting permanent resident status.
At the outset, it's important for people to understand that in order to qualify for a green card, they must satisfy the following four requirements:
- They must be eligible under one of the categories set forth via the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- They must have a qualifying immigrant petition filed on their behalf and approved.
- There must be an immigrant visa available.
- They must be considered admissible to the U.S.
Most people will look to secure a green card on the basis of family, employment, or refugee/asylum status. It's important to understand, however, that with the sole exception of those seeking to secure permanent residence as an immediate relative, Congress has designated a set number of green cards for use in each general category during each calendar year and that these will be allocated based on a preference system.
We will continue to examine the complex topic of green card eligibility in future posts.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding green cards or any other immigration-related concerns, please consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.