The United States offers many opportunities for individuals looking to better their lives through education, job opportunities, and quality of life, often leading to them considering living and working in this great country.
However, the immigration process can be daunting and time-consuming. One way to gain a legal right to stay in the US is by obtaining a Green Card. In this blog post, we will explore what it takes to obtain a Green Card from within the US and the steps you need to follow to make it happen.
Before you can begin obtaining a Green Card from within the US, you must confirm that you are eligible. There are several ways to become eligible for a Green Card, including through family members who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents, through employment, through asylum or refugee status, and certain special immigrant categories. Each category has specific requirements that must be met to qualify for a green card. Once you have confirmed your eligibility, you can proceed to the next step.
Once you have determined your eligibility, the next step is to gather all the necessary documents required to apply for a green card. These documents may include proof of identity, financial stability, and evidence of lawful presence in the US. You can get in touch with a qualified immigration attorney in Houston, TX, to help you gather the required documents.
Once you have established your eligibility for a Green Card, you must file a petition. If you seek permanent residency through a family member, they will file Form I-130 on your behalf. For employment-based Green Cards, your employer will file Form I-140. Sometimes, you may be eligible for a self-petition, such as the EB-1A or EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions.
After gathering all the necessary documents, you will need to complete Form I-485, an application for adjustment of status. This form requires detailed information about your background and current circumstances to determine your eligibility for a green card. If you’re not familiar with the legalities of the form, we suggest that you seek professional assistance from an immigration lawyer in Houston.
Along with completing Form I-485, it is important that you also submit any supporting documents that are requested by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). These documents may include birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other evidence that will help prove your eligibility for a green card.
After you have filed Form I-130 or Form I-140, you must wait for your priority date to become current. Your priority date is established based on the date your petition was filed. The Department of State determines the priority dates in its monthly Visa Bulletin. Once your priority date is current, you can proceed to the next step.
You can apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS) with a current priority date. This means that you can apply for permanent residency inside the United States. You will need to file Form I-485 and pay the relevant fees. You will also need to attend an interview with a USCIS officer to discuss your application and supporting documents.
After submitting all required documentation and forms, you may be asked to interview a USCIS officer to review your application for a green card further. During this interview, you must answer all questions honestly and accurately, as any discrepancies could lead to delays or even denial of your application.
After attending an interview (if applicable) and submitting all required documentation, it can take several months before a decision is made on your application for a green card from within the US. You must remain patient during this time, as additional requests or reviews may be needed before a final decision can be made on your case.
If approved by USCIS after all steps have been completed successfully, you will receive notification via mail with instructions on obtaining your physical green card, which serves as proof of legal permanent residency status in the United States. Keep your Green Card updated, follow all immigration rules, and take all necessary steps to maintain your lawful permanent residency.
One of the biggest benefits of obtaining a green card from within the US is the increased job opportunities that come with it. A green card enables immigrants to work for any employer in the US without sponsorship or a work visa. This makes it easier for green card holders to find and switch jobs without the added paperwork or waiting times. It also provides them with the same benefits as US citizens, including health insurance, Social Security, and the ability to work in any industry they choose.
Another important benefit of obtaining a green card from within the US is the financial stability it provides. Green card holders are allowed to purchase and own property in the US, which provides them with a sense of ownership and security. They can also apply for bank loans and credit cards, which can help them establish a credit history and build a financial future. Green card holders are also eligible for tax benefits and can file for tax returns like US citizens.
Green card holders are also eligible for the same educational opportunities as US citizens. This includes attending public schools, universities, and vocational schools at the same tuition rates as American citizens. This can provide access to better educational facilities and resources, leading to better job opportunities and a higher standard of living.
Obtaining a green card from the US can also help family unification. Green card holders are allowed to sponsor their immediate relatives to come and live in the US permanently. This includes spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Green card holders can also travel outside of the US without the fear of being denied re-entry, which means they can easily visit their relatives and loved ones in their home countries.
Lastly, obtaining a green card from the US is the first step toward citizenship. Green card holders can apply for US citizenship after five years of holding a green card. This means they can vote in US elections, serve in the US military, and hold a US passport. Citizenship brings certain rights and privileges not available to green card holders, including the ability to vote, run for office, and travel freely across borders.
Obtaining a Green Card from within the US can be intimidating and time-consuming, but it can be a worthwhile investment in your future. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of success in obtaining your own Green Card and gaining permanent residency in the United States.
If you need help along the way, it’s essential to consult with an experienced immigration attorney in Houston, TX, who can offer guidance and answer any questions you may have. Remember, the United States is a country of opportunity, and with hard work and determination, you can make your dreams a reality.