A green card is an important step in the immigration process. It is called a green card because for many years—from approximately 1940 to 1960—the cards issued by the U.S. government were green. Having this card will not, by itself, make you a citizen of America, but it does give you peace of mind for three important things.
First, you cannot be deported if you have your green card. And second, you can work in the U.S. and live in the U.S. as long as you have it. Third, having a green card allows you to file what is called a petition for your family members to come to the United States and live with you. A final important feature about having a green card is that it allows you to travel across the United States.
If you have a green card, you are what is called a Lawful Permanent Resident. It’s estimated that roughly a million people every year receive a green card, out of a total of approximately six million who apply. Having an experienced, determined immigration lawyer will greatly increase your chances of getting a green card.
How Do You Obtain a Green Card?
Getting a green card is not easy. There are many complicated steps and a lot of paperwork to complete in order to get one. If you make one mistake, even a small, you will put your chances of getting a green card in incredible danger.
You need to be aware of these things as you look to obtain a green card. First, I-485 Petition to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the application you need to complete to get a green card.
1-130 Petition for an Alien Relative: this is the first step in filing a petition for a family member to come to the United States
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization: this is paperwork, known as a petition to allow someone to work in the U.S. who is not a legal citizen.
1-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence: this is done to allow your green card to allow you to work in the U.S. for 10 years.
You must be eligible to receive a green card in the first place. An experienced, dedicated immigration lawyer can view all of the available options and make the best decision for you by looking at some of these factors:
- Family relationship with a U.S. citizen
- Whether you are an asylum seeker
- Sponsorship through your work
- Having the right kinds of skills or experience for a job
- Green card lottery
Why Getting a Green Card is Important
There are some important advantages about having a green card. First, it allows you to become a U.S. citizen after three to five years. Second, you can bring over relatives who may be living in foreign countries. Third, you can receive Social Security benefits. Fourth, you can travel in and out of the United States, so you are not simply stuck in the United States like some people are who do not have a green card.
What Documents are Needed to Apply for a Green Card?
There are a lot of different kinds of documents you will need to get a green card. Among them are:
- A copy of your birth certificate
- A marriage certificate if you are married
- Two photographs of yourself
- A government ID
At The Jackman Law Firm, we can help you find the right kinds of documents and photographs to support your petition to make sure you get this done correctly.
The Green Card Interview
The green card interview can be intimidating to people who do not know what to expect. The person conducting the interview, or asking the questions, is an employee of United States Citizen and Immigration services. Most interviews last about half an hour, but they can be longer or shorter than that depending on how you perform. We can help you prepare for this interview.
How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help You
If you are preparing to get a green card, you need an experienced, dedicated immigration lawyer who can help you. Call The Jackman Law Firm now so we can put you in the best position to get a green card!