Law Offices of
Cynthia R. Exner, LLC
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Permanent Resident Visa (Green Cards)
The two most typical processes to obtain permanent resident status are:
An immediate family member can sponsor you for permanent resident status in the US (for a green card). You do not have to be in the US to be sponsored by a family member. You can be sponsored for permanent resident status if you are any of the following:
1 The spouse, parent or minor child of a US citizen
2 An unmarried or married adult son or daughter of a US citizen (over 21 years of age)
3 The spouse, minor child, or unmarried adult son or daughter of a permanent resident (over 21 years of age)
4 The brother or sister of a US citizen.
(This category also includes your spouse and minor children)
Each category has different time-frames and regulations. If you are inside the US, it makes a difference if you entered the US legally with a valid visa, or if you entered the US without any visa at all. It also makes a difference if you were ever detained by immigration officials, or if you ever appeared before an immigration judge in immigration court. It also makes a difference if you have ever committed a crime either inside the US or outside the US. Our attorneys can handle almost any type of case with any scenario for you, but the process and waiting times will vary according to the individual facts in your case.
If you were adopted by US citizens or permanent residents before your 18th birthday, we may also be able to file a family case for you.
If you do not have an immediate relative to sponsor you for your permanent resident status, then you can consider an employer-sponsor case. You do not have to be inside the US to be sponsored by an employer. You are NOT required to be working for the employer, you do not ever have to have worked for the employer in the past, and you do not have to have ever come to the US in the past.
Just about any employer can sponsor a person for permanent resident status. The process is generally a 3-step process. The first step is handled by the US Department of Labor (USDOL). The USDOL must certify that there is no US citizen or permanent resident available to take the job. This is called the PERM process.
Once a PERM is obtained, then the employer files with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When the USCIS approves the petition for permanent resident status, then the case is either sent overseas to the US Consulate in the country where you are living; or the case is completed inside the US.
Other Types of Cases:
Less common cases include Political Asylum, U-visa conversions and Cancellation of Removal cases before the Immigration Court.