Green Card (LPR)

Description 

The Green Card allows the alien to obtain permanent residency (Lawful Permanent Residency).With the obtention of a Green Card (LPR), you may reside in the United States and work for any employer of your choosing.

Eligibility Requirements

If you do not have an American visa, you can obtain a Green Card:

  • By marrying an American citizen or a permanent resident.

  • Through family ties with a Green Card holder, if you are the parent or the child of a permanent resident.

  • Through the lottery.

  • Investing 1 million dollars and employing 10 American citizens or permanent residents. This amount of money can be reduced, depending on the policies of the local communities intending to promote investments within their boundaries.
  • If you have an employment based visa (HB1, E3, L1, O, P, etc.)

  • Since March 28, 2005, the US Immigration Services have instituted PERM, a procedure which allows the alien to obtain a Green Card in less than 1 year, as opposed to 2 to 3 years.

  • The Green Card application is filed by the employer, and not the employee.
  • The employer must complete a labor certification, which requires the employer to actively search for employees to fill the position for which the Green Card is requested.

  • This recruitment process may encompass 1 to 6 months.

  • The employer must advertise the position in the Sunday newspaper at least twice to prove that there are no American workers qualified for the job to be filled by the foreign worker and must undertake additional recruitment if the position is professional in nature.

  • Once the recruitment campaign is completed and documented, a labor certification notice is sent to the appropriate office which will render a decision on such request within 45 to 60 days.

  • Once the labor certification is obtained, the permanent residence request or “Green Card” application will be forwarded to the appropriate Immigration Agency. The issuance delay of the Green Card can vary from 1 month to 1 year, depending on the volume of visas filed at the immigration center. However, you can request a work permit allowing you to commence work immediately while waiting for the Green Card.
  • If you have been granted political asylum

  • You must first obtain a work permit valid for 1 year and at the end of this period, you can request your permanent residence (Green Card).

  • Period of Validity

  • 10 years, renewable
  • Particulars

  • Permanent residency can lead to American citizenship (Naturalization) after 5 years if the Green Card was obtained based on employment and after only 3 years if the Green Card was obtained through marriage.

  • If you obtained a L-1 visa as a multinational or an O-1 visa as an extraordinary ability alien you do not have to go through the labor certification process. Your employer can directly file the residency petition.