If you or your family members live in the United States, and you dream of becoming a U.S. Citizen, one of the first steps is getting a Green Card. As an important legal document, your Green Card entitles you to certain rights and responsibilities, defines your official immigration status in the U.S., and is required if you wish to acquire citizenship through naturalization.
Congress can only issue a limited number of visas each year, so not everyone will be eligible for a Green Card. In order to qualify, you must be able to recognize yourself in one of the immigrant categories described in the Immigration and Nationality Act. These categories include, but are not limited to, the following – the categories that receive the highest preference are listed first:
- The unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Spouses and unmarried children of other Green Card holders
- Married children of U.S. citizens
- Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens
- Immigrants with extraordinary ability (in arts, education, business, etc.)
- Outstanding professors and researchers
- Multinational executives and managers
Other components of your Green Card eligibility are your immigrant petition, which must be filed and approved for you, your immigrant visa, and your admissibility into the United States.
The first step to applying for a Green Card is having an immigrant petition filed on your behalf. In most cases, an employer or relative will file for you. When your application is submitted, you will also need to pay a $1,140 filing fee, attend a biometrics appointment (with another $85 fee) and attend an interview with an immigration officer.
Maximizing Your Application
In addition to being a difficult process for many families, applying for a Green Card can be an expensive investment in terms of both money and time. As such, you will want to make sure you get it right on the first try. At Smith Law Offices, LLC, our award-winning immigration attorneys can help you choose the best option to pursue and guide you through the complex process. With a multilingual staff and more than 30 years of combined experience, we will explore every avenue available to help you get a Green Card and, if applicable, help reunite you with your family.
To find out what we can do for you, give us a call at (636) 400-1177 or contact us online today.