Green Card

The Lawful Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) allows an immigrant, i.e. a foreign national, to live and work permanently in the United States.

To consult our chart about what Green Card applies for a Non-Immigrant visa, please click "here".

A multi-step procedure

To become an immigrant, you must go through a multi-step process:

- An immigrant petition filed either by a relative or an employer must be approved by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).

- You will be granted an immigrant visa number if you are already in the U.S.

- You may then apply to adjust status and register as Permanent Residence if you are in the U.S. If you are outside the U.S., you will receive a notice so as to go to a local U.S. consulate and complete the Lawful Permanent Residence process.

While applying for an adjustment of status in the U.S., you are eligible for a work permit. Besides, you will also receive advance permission (“advance parole”) to travel outside the U.S.

How to become an immigrant through a relative?

Preference Categories:

Foreign nationals who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. Regarding the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, i.e. spouses, parents, and unmarried children under the age of twenty-one (21), an immigrant visa number will become immediately available.

However, the relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

- First preference: Unmarried sons and daughters (twenty-one (21) years old or older) of U.S. citizens.

- Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.

- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens.

Once the immigrant visa number is available, he/she may adjust status if in the U.S.

1) If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, he or she may petition for:

- Parent (immediate relative category)

- Husband or wife (immediate relative category)

- Unmarried child under 21(immediate relative category)

- Unmarried son or daughter over 21

- Married son or daughter of any age

- Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least twenty-one (21) years old.

2) If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, he or she may petition for:

- Husband or wife

- Unmarried son or daughter of any age.

How to become an immigrant through employment?

Five categories based upon employment allow foreign nationals to be granted lawful permanent residence.

EB-1: Priority Workers: Extraordinary Ability or Managers and Executives transferred to the U.S. branch:

- Aliens who possess extraordinary abilities (nationally or internationally recognized) in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics

- Aliens who are managers or executives of a U.S. branch

- Aliens who are exceptional researchers or professors.

EB-2: Professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional abilities:

- Aliens "who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business and who are advanced will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural, or educational interests or welfare of the United States."

- Aliens who have advanced degrees.

EB-3: Professional, Skilled and Unskilled Workers:

- Professionals with a baccalaureate degree

- Skilled workers with at least two (2) years of experience

- Others workers with less than two (2) years of experience.

EB-4: Special Immigrants:

- Priest of a religious denomination

- Religious workers.

EB-5: Investors:

Pursuant to the section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(B)(5), ten thousand (10,000) immigrant visas are granted annually to qualified persons who are engaged in a new commercial company. Five thousand (5,000) visas out of the ten thousand (10,000) visas are granted to persons who apply under a pilot program involving a designed “Regional Center”.

EB-5 Visas

"Click to enlarge"

A “Regional Center”:

- Is an organization that has been approved as such by the Service

- Is focused on a specific geographic area in the U.S.

- Promotes economic growth through export sales, increase productivity in the region, creates employment, and boost capital investment in the U.S.

The Investor must:

- Show proof that the new investment is located in an approved Regional Center

- Demonstrate that the investment has created directly or indirectly ten (10) or more jobs in the U.S. as well as that it has increased export sales, productivity and domestic capital investment.

“Eligible individuals” must:

1) Engage in a new commercial enterprise:

- Establish a new business

- Purchase an existing company and restructure the business so as to develop a new commercial enterprise

- Increase an existing commercial enterprise by one hundred forty percent (140%) of the pre-investment number of jobs or net worth, or maintain the existing jobs in a troubled business that has a twenty percent (20%) loss of its net worth over the past two (2) years.

2) Invest capital in a new business:

- At least one million dollars ($1,000,000)

- At least five thousand dollars ($500,000) in a “targeted employment area” (area that has unemployment of at least one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the national average rate or a rural area.

3) Invest in a new business who will benefit the U.S. economy:

- Create full-time employment for at least ten (10) U.S. persons

- Save the existing jobs for at least two (2) years in a troubled business that has a twenty percent (20%) loss of its net worth over the past two (2) years.

Law offices of Vanessa Elmaleh & Associates

Citizenship and Immigration Legal Services, Inc. ( « CILS, Inc. » )

Miami Florida Office: 407 Lincoln Road, Suite 12F, Miami Beach, FL 33139    |    Los Angeles California Office: 18455 Burbank Blvd, Suite 314, Los Angeles, CA 91356     |    San Francisco California Office: 1419 Broadway Alameda, San Francisco, CA 94510    |    Paris Office : 43 rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris, France

Tel: (001) 305 538 0009 / 1 888 US VISA3 - Fax: (001) 305 534 8810