This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
For many, gaining permanent residence in the United States is a lifelong dream. Lawful Permanent Residence is the first step towards achieving many individuals’ lifelong dream of becoming a United States citizen. Attorney Ahmad Yakzan has helped numerous individuals apply for permanent residence through family, employment, or special visa petitions. We would be honored to help put you on solid footings to reach your and your family’s goals.
What is Permanent Residence?
Permanent residence in the process in which individuals signal to the United States government that they want the United States to be their permanent home. Permanent residence could be achieved in many ways, including marriage, employment, and special permanent residence programs like self-petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
How Can I Apply for Permanent Residence Using Marriage?
Permanent Residence through marriage to a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident is one of the quickest and cheaper ways to receive permanent residence. This is because the United States government gives priority to foreigners married to this class of individuals for family reunification reasons. Although individuals married to United States citizens are considered “immediate relatives”, who do not need to wait for an immigrant visa petition to be available, individuals married to permanent residents have to wait for such visa to be available. These visas are granted on country quota basis, meaning that these visas may be available to individuals from certain countries but not others. Individuals married to permanent residents should also be “in status” if applying for permanent residence in the United States.
The first step in the process is to apply for a form I-130, petition for alien relative, along with an application for permanent residence if the person is in the United States or a stand-alone I-130 petition if the individual is outside the United States.
Can I Apply Using My Job?
Permanent residence through employment is possible but depends on the background and the job the person intends to occupy upon adjustment of status. Individuals applying for permanent residence through employment fall into preference categories, meaning that the United States gives priority to certain individuals over others. There are five preference categories, commonly known as EB1, EB2, EB3, EB4, and EB-5. The EB1 preference category includes international managers and executives, to outstanding professors and researchers and persons with extraordinary ability in the arts and sciences. This preference category does not require a labor certification by the Department of Labor. Some of the individuals who fall under this category may self-petition, meaning that they may not require an employer, but must intend to continue working in their field.
The EB2 category includes individuals who require a labor certification unless they fall under an exception, who intend to occupy jobs that require a Master’s degree or higher. A person holding a Bachelor’s degree with five years of progressive employment may also apply under this category. Most of these individuals require a labor certification unless the job is pre-certified or falls within the national interest of the United States.
The EB3 category also requires a labor certification and is reserved for jobs that require a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The EB3 category includes individuals who are skilled workers, professionals who hold a Bachelor’s degree, or other workers who have two years of experience.
The EB4 category includes special immigrants including religious workers and nationals of Afghanistan and Iraq who worked as translators with the United States armed forces.
The EB5 program, also known as the employment creation category, includes individuals who, through a minimum investment of $500,000 in their own enterprise or a regional center, and create 10 jobs in the United States gain permanent residence. For more information on this program visit this link.
Can my Child Receive Permanent Residence with Me?
In many situations, and depending on individual cases, children of applicants for permanent residence can receive permanent residence with their parents.
What are the Requirements?
There are many requirements to receive permanent residence whether you are applying in the United States or outside the United States before a consulate of the United States using consular processing. Lawful admission to the United States is critical unless a person who has entered in an undocumented way falls under an exception. The person must also be admissible into the United States. Admissibility means that the individual has not committed crimes, or has other grounds of inadmissibility in their background. The person should also be not deportable from the United States, meaning that the person has not committed acts that would lead to his deportation from the United States.
Can I Receive Permanent residence if I am Outside the United States?
Permanent residence for individuals outside the United States is possible through consular processing.
What if I have a crime, May I still Apply for Permanent Residence?
You may gain permanent residence, even though you committed a crime, depending on the nature of the crime and the classification of such crime.
Can I Apply for Permanent Residence in Immigration Court?
Yes. We have helped numerous individuals apply for permanent residence in immigration court. These cases involve many factors that may affect the result. Call us today to discuss your case.