Overall, there are a variety of ways for someone to achieve a transition from a foreign alien to permanent resident in the United States. The following are a number of ways that a foreign nationals can obtain permanent residency or a green card:
You can receive sponsorship from a relative who is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder. You must be able to prove you are related to your family member, who must demonstrate that he or she can support you by earning an income of at least 125 percent above the federal poverty level.
U.S. citizens can sponsor foreign family members including spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Permanent US residents can sponsor spouses and unmarried children. To initiate this process, U.S. citizen sponsors must file a Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative and an Affidavit of Support. After filling the necessary information , the U.S. State Department will assess the application to determine eligibility and assign a visa number. After the number is assigned, you will be eligible to apply as a permanent resident.
Foreign nationals can also apply for U.S. permanent residency if they are sponsored by an employer. Under this type of sponsorship is easier for individuals who have exceptional abilities that benefit the interests of the United States; doctors, scientists, professors, and artists, for example. Individuals who are not considered “exceptional” will be required to obtain a labor certification prior to applying for permanent residency.
Employers can apply for a Green Card for their employees by filing an Immigrant Petition, Form I-140, with their local service center of U.S. Immigration. To obtain permanent residency, you will need to file Form I-485 with your labor certification, as well as an Immigrant Petition. These forms should be filed with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
U.S. Green Card Lottery:
While more difficult than the two previous options, it is possible to obtain U.S. permanent residency via the U.S. Green Card lottery, a government-sponsored program. Through this program, 50,000 people are selected at random to receive a green card. This program affords citizens of underrepresented countries an opportunity to become a legal U.S. resident. In order to qualify for a Green Card through this program, you need a minimum of two years of high school education or work experience in a field that requires at least two years of experience or training.
How Sethi and Mazaheri can help you achieve legal status of your permanent residency
We understand that these processes could seem complicated and hard to understand. For this reason, our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate this situation. Our firm is up to date on the new regulations and available to assist you on the best path for you to achieve legal status. We aim to provide some much-needed reassurance and guidance during these challenging times. We are here to help you in your immigration journey.
If you or someone you know is exploring different ways to transition to permanent residency, we highly recommend contacting our office directly at (646) 405-9846.