An Individual Who Wants to Learn About Green Cards

245i

245(i) is a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that permits certain foreign nationals to apply for Adjustment of Status notwithstanding an unlawful entry. To be eligible for 245(i) you must have had an Immigrant Visa Petition or Labor Certification filed on your behalf prior to April 30, 2001. If your petition or labor certification was filed after January 14, 1998, you must also prove that you were physically in the U.S. on December 21, 2000.  …
read more

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status describes one manner in which certain foreign nationals who are already present in the United States may apply for a green card.  If you are eligible for Adjustment of Status, you will not have to leave the U.S. to obtain your green card.  By contrast, anyone not eligible for adjustment of status must apply for a green card at a foreign consulate outside the United States via Consular Processing. Typically, in order …
read more

Citizenship/Naturalization

There are two main ways to become a U.S. citizen— either by acquiring or deriving citizenship status at birth through your U.S. citizen parents or grandparents, or through naturalization.  In order to be eligible for naturalization, you must first be a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least three or five years (depending on how you became a resident).  Additionally, certain members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their dependents may be eligible for …
read more

Consular Processing

Consular Processing is one of two types of processing for foreign nationals who are eligible to obtain Lawful Permanent Residence.  Consular processing is available to foreign nationals who are outside of the United States and wish to apply for a green card at a foreign embassy or consulate.   By contrast, Adjustment of Status, is the type of processing available to foreign nationals who are already lawfully in the U.S. and wish to apply through USCIS. …
read more

Hardship Waivers

If you have accrued unlawful presence (i.e. you have overstayed the validity period of your status or entered the U.S. illegally), you may be subject to a 3 or 10 year bar upon your departure from the U.S. However, if you have a qualifying relative in the U.S. (i.e. a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child) who will suffer extreme hardship if you are not permitted to live in the U.S., you …
read more

Lawful Permanent Residence

Obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence is what is typically referred to as obtaining a “green card.” Lawful Permanent Residence allows foreign nationals to live and work in the United States permanently. There are various ways through which you may obtain Lawful Permanent Residence including the following: an immigrant visa petition filed by a relative an immigrant visa petition filed by an employer EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Self-Petition EB-5 Investor Self-Petition Relief from Removal an application for asylum. …
read more

Obtaining Employment Authorization

In order for a foreign national to be authorized to work in the United States, you must have either a Lawful Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Generally, in order to obtain an EAD, you must first obtain a visa that permits work authorization. There are additional classifications, such as Asylum and Temporary Protected Status, that also allow for work authorization.  Certain instances where a pending application or special circumstances may …
read more

Removal of Conditions on Permanent Residency

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who received their green cards through marriage and were married for less than two years at the time permanent residency was granted will receive what is called “conditional residence.” Conditional residence means that the LPR will receive a green card that expires after two years.  Just before the two years is up, the LPR, together with his or her spouse, will have to file an application to remove the conditions on …
read more

Unlawful Presence and the 3/10 Bar

Being present in the United States without a valid visa is called “unlawful presence” and is a violation of U.S. immigration laws.  A person can begin to accrue unlawful presence in two ways:  (1) by staying in the U.S. past the expiration date of a valid status (i.e. “overstay”), or (2) by entering the U.S. without being inspected by an immigration official (i.e. “entry without inspection” or what is commonly called an illegal entry). If …
read more