Many people have heard the term green card, but what is it? Does it make you a legal permanent resident of the U.S., and what are the benefits of having a green card?
What is a Green Card?
A green card is an identification card that makes a person a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. If you have one, it shows that you have official permission to reside in the U.S. and to take employment here.
How Do I Get a Green Card?
There are different ways to obtain a green card, depending on your situation.
Typically, you can get a green card:
- Through family
- Through a job
- Through refugee or asylee status
Obtaining a Green Card Through Family
You may be eligible to get a green card if you are:
- An immediate relative of a current U.S. citizen, which can include spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens over the age of 21
- A family member of a U.S. citizen who fits into a “preference” category, including unmarried children over the age of 21, married children of any age, and siblings of U.S. citizens aged 21 or over
- A family member of a green card holder, including spouses and unmarried children of the green card holder
- A member of a special category, such as battered spouses or children, a K nonimmigrant, a V nonimmigrant, a person born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S., or a widow or widower of a U.S. citizen
Obtaining a Green Card Through a Job
You could be eligible for a green card based on an offer of permanent employment in the U.S., through investments that create new U.S. jobs, or through self-petition as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability.” You may also apply based on your current job if it fits in a special category, such as:
- Afghan/Iraqi interpreter
- Employee of an international organization
- Iraqi who assisted the U.S. government
- Nato-6 nonimmigrants
- Panama Canal employee
- Religious Worker
Obtaining a Green Card as a Refugee or Asylee
If you’re here as a refugee or you’re a qualifying family member of an asylee (someone who has been granted asylum in the U.S.), you may be eligible to apply for a green card.
Do You Need to Talk to a Waukesha Immigration Lawyer?
If you need to talk to a Wisconsin immigration lawyer who may be able to help you apply for a green card, call us at 414-383-6700 right away.