A green card, known officially as a United States Permanent Resident Card, is the identification document that is issued to an alien permanently residing in the U.S. For anyone wishing to permanently reside in the United States, obtaining a green card is a very important step in the realization of that goal. The green card is also a critical step in the naturalization process that leads to citizenship. At The Law Offices of Farr and Bowen, we will work to help you achieve your goal, whether it is applying for a green card or completing the naturalization process.
A person may obtain a green card through a variety of circumstances, including through:
- Family Sponsorship
- The diversity lottery
- Change of Status (from nonimmigrant to immigrant)
An alien with a green card application may be entitled to two important benefits which might not be available to a nonimmigrant visa holder. First, that person may apply for an employment authorization, which grants an alien the right to work in the U.S. Second, the alien may apply for advanced parole, which allows the alien to leave and reenter the U.S.
Not all green cards are created equal. Some green cards are issued on a conditional basis. For example, the green card issued to the spouse of a citizen admitted on a fiancée visa is issued a green card that is valid for two years. At the end of the two year probationary period, the alien spouse may then apply for a permanent green card.
Green cards issued after 1989 also carry an expiration date. If the holder of the green card allows it to expire, the alien may encounter difficulties reentering the U.S. and may also have difficulty obtaining employment.
One significant aspect of the green card application process that many may overlook is the recent steep increase in the application fees charged by the USCIS, which depending on circumstances ca exceed $1000.
Call us today at 407-822-4222 for a free consultation so we can help you begin the process of applying for your green card. We can also be reached via email.