Aventura & Sunny Isles Beach Green Card Attorney

In Florida, immigrants seeking permanent legal resident status must obtain a green card. A green card is proof of the holder’s official immigration status and entitles him or her to certain rights and responsibilities. Green cards are also required for those who wish to become U.S. citizens at a later date. Obtaining a green card can be a complex process, so if you or a loved one is seeking permanent residency in the U.S., it is important to contact an experienced Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach immigration attorney who can ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed and all fees submitted before the deadline.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to receive a green card, a person must satisfy certain criteria, including:

  • Being eligible for one of the immigrant categories established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
  • Having a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved;
  • Having a visa immediately available; and
  • Being admissible to the U.S.

Most immigrants who are eligible to apply for a green card fall within one of the following immigration categories:

  • Familial relationships with U.S. citizen family members;
  • Sponsorship from an employer; and
  • Admission as a refugee or asylum seeker.

Family Members

Many people obtain green cards through their relationship to family members. In those cases, applicants can obtain a green card if they are:

  • An immediate relative of a U.S. citizens, such as a spouse, an unmarried child under 21 years old, or a parent;
  • A close family member of a U.S. citizen, including unmarried sons and daughters older than 21 years, married children, and brothers and sisters;
  • A family member of someone who already holds a green card; or
  • A member of a special category, such as a battered spouse or child, someone born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S., or the widow(er) of a citizen.

Workers

Applicants may also be able to obtain a green card based on employment criteria, such as:

  • A job offer;
  • As an investor;
  • A self-petition; or
  • A special category.

Refugees

Immigrants can also apply for a green card if they were admitted as a refugee or someone who was granted asylum in the U.S. Individuals falling under this category may apply for permanent residence one year after their entry into the country or after their grant of asylum status.

Special Programs

Applicants who do not fall within these categories may still be able to obtain a green card through one of a number of special programs. For instance, the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes 50,000 visas available every year to those randomly drawn from a lottery of individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Fiancé visas are another method of obtaining a green card and allow the intended spouses of U.S. citizens, along with his or her minor children, to immigrate prior to marriage.

Application Requirements

Green card applicants are also required to complete a medical examination, receive vaccinations, undergo a background check, and pay a series of fees. In certain cases, the petitioner may also need to submit an Affidavit of Support, which shows that he or she has the financial means to live in the U.S. without government aid. Those seeking to enter the country for business purposes will also need to provide evidence of employment. Once a green card has been granted, it will be effective for ten years, at which time it will need to be renewed.

If you are interested in obtaining a green card, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney who can walk you through the process. Please contact the Aventura Law Offices of Alex T. Barak, at 954-289-6298, to schedule an initial consultation with a Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach immigration attorney.