What to Know about Green Cards
Applying for a green card can be scary or exciting, maybe even both. There is plenty to think about and you want to be as informed as possible. You may be wondering if you are eligible and what you need to do to get one. Here is some basic information to get to know about green cards.
Obtaining a Green Card
In the United States, a green card allows immigrants to live and work in the country, and it can be the first step toward permanent citizenship. The different types of green cards are:
- Family-based — If you are related to a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, parent, child or sibling, you can apply for a family-based visa, which can be upgraded to a green card after approval. To apply for a family-based green card you will need to fill out the I-130 forms.
- Employment-based — When you are offered permanent employment in the United States, you can be sponsored for a green card by your employer. Your or your employer’s attorney can assist in filling out the necessary I-485 paperwork.
- Asylum — When citizens of another country have a fear of persecution or violence upon returning to their homes, the United States can offer asylum status. A year after your asylum is established, you and your family can apply for a green card. An attorney can help you complete the I-589 forms.
If your case meets one of these three sets of qualifications, you can apply for a green card.
You will need to get your documents translated into English before you go to your review at the U.S. Embassy. These translations must be certified. You will need to submit the originals as well as the translations to the National Visa Center, a sort of intermediary between the USCIS and the Embassy, before you go to your Embassy review.
Including Children and Spouse on Green Card Application
Your spouse and children can almost always be included on a green card application. You must begin, however, by applying as an individual. The applicant is the principal beneficiary. After your initial petition is approved, you can name your spouse and children as derivative beneficiaries. If they are already in the U.S., you can go through final processing together. If they are outside of the U.S., they can go through processing separately, after you’ve obtained your green card.
If you are looking to gain citizenship to the United States or would like to know more about green cards, speak to one of experienced Immigration Attorneys in Morristown, NJ. Susan Scheer has over three decades of experience keeping families together.