How to Acquire a Green Card through Employment


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Acquiring a green card for a foreign citizen is much easier when he or she has already obtained authorization to work in the United States and is provided sponsorship with the company. Through the business or organization, the individual may progress through employment verification, authorization and then permanent residency with the ability to work in the country.

When a person immigrates to the United States, he or she may seek permanent residency in the country through a green card. This permits the foreign national the ability to remain in the country and work with the possibility of green card status after so much time has passed. Many of these immigrants then move on to apply for citizenship in the country based on his or her own skills, knowledge or what is provided to a company in work hours. There are exceptions made for marriage to current American citizens or if the person has moved due to refugee situations.

Before a green card is possible, many immigrants must move through the various stages of temporary work visas, conditional permits of authorization and certification to work in the country. These may be held for years or only a short time before the person returns to his or her original country. However, a foreign national may seek to progress further and acquire the green card that may give access to permanent residency in the country. To start this, the applicant usually starts with the Immigration Office and other states authorities or directly with a business online or with official channels in his or her country.

Green Card Types

It is possible to attain permanent residency in the United States in multiple manners that may include marrying a citizen, employment and others. It is possible that the person may apply from his or her home country before arriving in America and is assigned a visa number and status. There are certain preferences based on special abilities, knowledge or skills. Those with education and experience behind them are often in the first preference category with eligibility for permanent residency with an immigrant visa. These persons are often the best of the best in a particular field or have extensive knowledge.

Second preference persons may be professionals, have advanced degrees or have exceptional talent in a certain field of work or study. These individuals may be interested in National Interest Waivers. Third and Fourth preferences are usually skilled employees that may obtain green cars after so many years of experience. Some of these applicants do have degrees, but they may be connected to religious affiliations, global organizations and the military. Fifth preference persons are investors with more than $500,000 and less than $1,000,000 for ventures that may create no less than ten jobs for citizens of the United States.

Obtaining a Green Card

Once the appropriate method of obtaining the green card has been determined based on the circumstances, it is time to pursue this course of action. The first steps involve the type of path such as a job offer, investments to a company, self-petition to the authorities and the special category. Based on the best and most connected route for the foreign national, he or she will take this path until either a green card is approved or rejected. Then, he or she may need to make another decision on how to progress forward. The application process is important and may require the assistance of a professional.

Application Process for a Green Card

The different types of green cards and application processes may differ slightly, but the primary documentation generally involves an I-140 or Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This is needed for an Approval Notice with then permits the employer the option of hiring a foreign national from a temporary basis to a permanent one. Most immigrants must have another party petition, but other are able to self-petition the I-140 filing. It is after the petition has been approved that the green card may be applied for with the Form I-485 or the Application to Register Permanent Residence. Some are able to file both forms simultaneously.

Legal Support with Green Cards Processes

There are many different processes, and they may be confusing for those not used to the methods of the United States. It may be beneficial to hire a lawyer to ensure the rights of the immigrant are protected and that all documents are filed accordingly. This could permit him or her to move through the process at the correct pace.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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