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Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration Law

FAQ

This page has a few answers to frequently asked questions regarding immigration issues. The information provided here does not constitute legal advice and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult a qualified immigration lawyer before taking any actions. Read our disclaimer for more information.

1.

Do you qualify for a Green Card?

2.

Who is your inmediate family?

3.

What are the "priorities"?

4.

What is the "Green Card Lottery"?

5.

Who are the special immigrants?

6.

What is Political Asylum?

  1. Do you qualify for a Green Card?

We all have heard of the Green Cards. These cards were initially green, then red, white and blue. Nowadays, they are pink, but, unlike the color, the term “Green Card” has remained.

Many people believe that the Green Cards are no more than work permits, but this is only one of its benefits. Its main purpose is to identify the holder as a permanent resident of the United States of America. A work permit is different and expires eventually.

Obtaining a Green Card is not easy. First, you must find someone who wants to sponsor you (a close relative or a well-established company) so that you can come to the United States. You must also be able to prove that you are eligible in one of the available categories to obtain a permanent residence by meeting specific criteria. If you are not in the United States already, you must then apply for a visa through the American Embassy in your country of origin.

The embassy will make sure that your profile does not meet any of the categories of exceptions that would exclude you from entering the United States. If approved, you must arrive within six (6) months of the approval date in order to be able to apply for your Green Card.

The law provides many categories for permanent residency. Your profile must match one of these categories in order to be eligible for a Green Card.

Do you have any questions? Click here.

  2. Who is your "inmediate family"?

There is no limit on the number of Green Cards that can be issued to the immediate relatives of an American citizen.

Immediate Family definition:

  • Spouse of an American citizen, including widows.
  • Single individuals under the age of 21 with at least one parent who is an American citizen.
  • Both American parents if the individual is 21 or older.
  • Step kids and stepparent of American citizens under the age of 10.
American Parents and adopted kids, if the adoption occurred before the kid(s) became 16 years old.

Do you have any questions? Click here.

  3. What are the "priorities"?

Those who could receive a Green Card based on the categories of quota fall into one of several “priorities”. A total of 480,000 Green Cards are available annually for all people in the priority group. Any person in this category may have to wait many years before receiving his or her Green Card. Although there are several types of “priorities”, in reality there are only two main groups:

  • Some members of a family of American citizens or permanent residents.
  • Individuals with specific technical or professional skills that are useful to companies in the United States.

Group I: Green Cards by Family Priority

First Family Priority: Single individuals over 21 years of age with at least one American parent.

Second Family Priority: (Section 2A) Spouses and single children under the age of 21 of a permanent resident. (Section 2B) Spouses and single children of a permanent resident over the age of 21.

Third family Priority: Married individuals of any age who have at least one American parent.

Fourth Family Priority: Brothers and sisters of American citizens over the age of 21.

Group II: Green Cards by Labor Priority

A total of 140,000 Green Cards are available every year for those individuals in labor related categories.

First Labor Priority: Priority workers that include the following:

  • Individuals of extraordinary artistic, scientific, educational, financial or sporting abilities.
  • Exceptional teachers and scientists.
  • Executives and administrators of multinational companies.

Second Labor Priority: Professionals with high levels of education and exceptional abilities.

Third Labor Priority: Professionals and workers with and without expertise.

Fourth Labor Priority: Religious workers and other miscellaneous categories of workers and special immigrants.

Fifth Labor Priority: Investors who want to invest at least one million dollars in a business based in the United States or $500,000 if the business is located in a financially weak area. The investor must also employ at least 10 people.

Do you have any questions? Click here.

  4. What is the"Green Card Lottery"?

A specific number of Green Cards are available to individuals in countries who in recent years have only a few immigrants to the United States. The total number of Green Cards offered in this category is 50,000. The purpose of this program is to ensure a diverse ethnic mixture among those who come to the United States. These Green Cards are assigned by a random selection using a computer.

  5. Who are the specials immigrants?

Once in a while, a few new laws allow Green Cards to be obtainable by individuals in special situations. Some of these special immigrant categories are:

  • Religious workers of well known and established religious organizations.
  • Foreign Doctors who have been in the United States since 1978.
  • Individuals employed in the Panama Canal in the past.
  • Foreign employees who worked for the United States government for a long time in the past.
  • Officials and retired workers of some international organizations whot have lived in the United States for some time as well as their spouses and single sons or daughters.
  • Foreign workers who were employed by the American Consulate in Honk Kong for at least three years.
Foreign children who have been declared dependent of juvenile courts in the United States.

Do you have any questions? Click here.

  6. What is political asylum?

The United States offers protection to individuals who have fear or have experienced persecution in their country of origin. The persecution must be based on race, religion, political opinion or affiliations. If you have recently arrived to the United States and believe that you may qualify for political asylum, please consult a qualified immigration attorney as soon as possible.

Do you have any questions? Click here.

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