How to Obtain a Green Card?
When a person is granted permanent residence to live and work in the United States, the government issues an Alien Registration Card, commonly known as a “green card.” One can obtain a green card by different means:
- A family-based petition filed by a qualified U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident family member;
- An employment- based petition submitted by a U.S. employer who desires to hire foreign workers;
- An asylum application submitted by a refugee who is fleeing his/her home country because of fear that he/she will be seriously hurt or killed;
- A diversity lottery winner; or
- An EB-5 investor who invests at least $900,000 in the U.S and creates a minimum of 10 full-time American jobs.
Is the Green Card Process Easy?
Although there are immigration forms and instructions to guide you in the application process, this creates a false sense of security that it is easy. Self-represented filers commonly make mistakes that cost time, money, and unnecessary heartache due to not understanding the procedures and requisite immigration laws.
Individuals seeking a green card can benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of attorney, Cheryl Fletcher. Mrs. Fletcher has successfully represented immigrants from various countries with many different types of immigration applications.
What Will I Need to Apply for a Green Card?
The first step in the green card process is to see if you are eligible. This can be done by contacting the Fletcher Law Office for a confidential, one-on-one, 30-minute consultation. During this meeting, we will answer all your questions about the immigration process. If you are eligible, we will create a personalized strategy designed to put you in the best position possible to win your green card case.
We will prepare all your documents, respond to any requests for additional evidence, prepare you for an interview, if it applies to your particular case and attend the interview with you (if applicable). We will be your legal guide every step of the way.
Removing Conditions from a Two-Year Green Card
A conditional-resident with a 2-year green card must apply, beginning 90 days before the expiration date, to remove the conditions. The application may be jointly filed with your spouse if you are still married and living together or you may need a waiver because of a divorce, abuse or, extreme hardship if you had to return to your home country.
Green Card Attorney- Serving South Florida
The Fletcher Law Office is conveniently located in West Palm Beach and we serve clients in Palm Beach, Broward, Martin and St. Lucie counties. Whether this is your first time applying for a green card, you need to remove conditions, you lost the card or you need to renew, we’d be happy to assist. Our phone number is: 561-507-5772 and you can also reach us via or contact form.
Green Card FAQs
No. A marriage creates a family relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign spouse, which is the starting point for the foreign spouse to be eligible for a green card. The U.S. citizen spouse still has to file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with sufficient evidence to prove that the marriage is bona fide and was not entered into to circumvent immigration laws. If the I-130 petition is approved, the foreign spouse can pursue his/her green card by filing an adjustment of status application, if he/she is living in the United States or apply for an immigrant visa at the appropriate U.S. consulate, if he/she is living abroad.
A green card is valid for either 2 years or 10 years. A green card that was obtained through a marriage-based application, where the marriage was less than 2 years at the time the visa or adjustment of status application was approved, will result in a 2-year conditional green card. The green card holder must apply to remove these conditions at least 90 days before expiration. A 10-year green card is issued, if the petition is successful.
A 10-year green card can be renewed multiple times, potentially indefinitely.
It is not uncommon for married couples to experience difficulties while the immigration process is incomplete. Once the petition is withdrawn, it is ultimately denied and there is no way to reinstate that specific application. Even if the couple reconciles, an entirely new immigrant visa petition with the appropriate fee must be filed.
Frequently, spousal abuse in the marriage is the reason for withdrawal of an immigrant petition. If this is your situation, it is urgent for you to secure your safety by reaching out to organizations like the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Once you are in a safe location and have received medical treatment (if needed), the next step is to contact an experienced immigration attorney who can review the facts surrounding your situation and advise you of your options.
A battered spouse, child or parent, may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Both males and females are eligible.
The options for a foreign spouse who did not experience abuse or extreme cruelty are limited.
Lawful permanent residents are not allowed to vote for the U.S. President or in federal elections. You can only vote in local and state elections that do not require proof of U.S. citizenship.
There are many reasons why a green card application may be denied. Insufficient evidence, failure to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), marriage-fraud, failure to appear at an adjustment of status or consular processing interview, insufficient financial resources, incomplete or missing forms, medical conditions, criminal activity, unlawful immigration status, accepting public benefits, working without a work permit, and unlawful entry to the United States are some of the reasons why a green card application may be denied.
There is no waiting period after your marriage for you to apply for a green card. You may apply as soon as you have sufficient evidence and your sponsor meets the income requirements.
It depends. There are different ways to get a green card and in most situations, it will take about 9 months to 3 years to get a decision on a pending green card application.