Many foreigners come to the United States looking to start a new life by becoming permanent, lawful residents. Maybe you are a student hoping to study at an American university, a person seeking more employment opportunities or a parent who wants a better life for their family. Anyone looking to become a lawful permanent U.S. resident will need to properly apply and obtain a green card. For those with family members who are already U.S. citizens or permanent residents, they are eligible to begin the immigration application process with the help of their family and an experienced attorney. Since the immigration process is very detail-oriented, time-consuming, and momentous to those looking to become permanent residents, it is important to have an immigration lawyer working by your side.
Green Card vs. Citizenship
The difference between lawful permanent residents, also known as green card holders, and U.S. citizens can be confusing for those considering immigrating to the United States. Those with green cards are not considered U.S. citizens, but are able to legally reside and work within the U.S. The main difference between permanent residents and U.S. citizens is their ability to vote in U.S. elections. Citizens are able to vote, while permanent residents are not able to do so. Permanent residents are also unable to travel outside of the United States for a prolonged period of time as it could affect their residency status. Additionally, green card holders are not eligible for all forms of federal assistance until they have resided in the U.S. for at least five years. There are a number of ways that one can become eligible to obtain their green card, but it is important to know which category of familial relatives you fall under so that the application is properly completed.
Immediate Relative Immigrants
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens have the ability to obtain their green cards based on their relationship with their family member. This is an option to try and keep families together. If you meet any of the following descriptions, you are considered an immediate family member:...