A person with long hair in locs is standing outdoors in an urban setting, wearing a blue jacket over a white shirt. The background is blurred, showing busy city life with buildings and people, perhaps on their way to consult Lancaster Immigration Lawyers.

Green Card Lawyers

Are you hoping to make your relationship with the United States a permanent one? Adjustment of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident—or “Green Card holder”—will allow you to live and work anywhere in the U.S., and eventually apply for citizenship. There are many types of Green Cards, the most common being those based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, Employment-Based Green Cards, and Humanitarian Green Cards offered to those with asylum and refugee status or who have been victims of crime. If you or a loved one is currently seeking a Green Card here in the United States, please don’t hesitate to contact our seasoned Lancaster immigration lawyers for help today.

Green Card Lawyers Near You in Pennsylvania

Such a significant step as obtaining a Green Card naturally involves meeting the many requirements of U.S. immigration law. Our team can help you complete applications, gather supporting documents, and prepare for interviews. In addition, we can identify details in your personal history that may make adjustment of status more challenging, such as arrests and convictions or a recent divorce from a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. Contact us for a free consultation to determine your eligibility for adjustment of status, and what you would need to do next to apply. We look forward to hearing from you.

Who is Eligible for a Green Card?

Obtaining a Green Card is a path to permanent residency in the U.S., available to various groups under U.S. immigration law. Eligibility for a Green Card can apply to:

  • Family Members of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents: Including spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens over 21, along with certain other family members under specified family-based preference categories.
  • Employment-Based Applicants: Professionals with advanced degrees, persons with exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business, skilled workers, and other special categories like investors in new commercial enterprises.
  • Refugees and Asylees: Individuals granted asylum or refugee status at least one year prior.
  • Victims of Abuse, Trafficking, or Crime: Including those with a U or T visa, and certain people under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
  • Diversity Visa Lottery Winners: Individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. who meet strict eligibility criteria.
  • Long-Time Residents: Those who have lived continuously in the U.S. since before January 1, 1972.

What is the Green Card Application Process Like?

Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident here in the United States involves several steps. They are as follows:

  1. Determine Your Eligibility Category: Understand under which category you qualify for a Green Card.
  2. File the Petition: Most categories require a sponsor to file a petition on your behalf. For family-based Green Cards, this is Form I-130; for employment-based, it might be Form I-140.
  3. Wait for Petition Approval: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve your petition before moving forward.
  4. Check Visa Availability: Some categories have annual limits; you may need to wait for a visa to become available.
  5. File Your Green Card Application: Once a visa is available, file Form I-485 for Adjustment of Status if you are in the U.S., or apply for an immigrant visa abroad.
  6. Biometrics Appointment: Attend an appointment to provide fingerprints, photos, and a signature.
  7. Interview: Most applicants must attend an interview with a USCIS officer.
  8. Receive a Decision: USCIS will inform you of their decision. If approved, you will become a Green Card holder.

Are Green Cards Permanent?

Green Cards grant you the status of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the U.S., but they come with conditions and responsibilities. The answer to their permanence is, therefore, both yes and no:

  • Conditional Green Cards: Issued for marriage or investment-based categories, these are valid for two years. Holders must apply to remove conditions on their status 90 days before the card expires to become permanent residents.
  • Permanent Green Cards: Once conditions are removed, or if you were granted an unconditional Green Card, it is valid for 10 years and is renewable. However, certain actions, like committing serious crimes or failing to maintain residency requirements, can lead to deportation.
  • Pathway to Citizenship: After meeting certain criteria, including a period of continuous residency, Green Card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship, making their stay in the U.S. truly permanent.

Contact a Lancaster County Immigration Attorney Today

Don’t go through the Green Card process alone. Contact the dedicated team of Lancaster County Green Card lawyers here at Lupton Law LLC today. We are here to represent you and your interests, every step of the way.

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