Green Cards

Green cards are issued to Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States. In most cases, becoming an LPR is a long and expensive process. Some people can apply for residency inside the United States (Adjustment of Status), while others must return to their home country for an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate (Consular Processing). It's extremely important to figure out which of those two options are available before applying for anything with the government, and to understand the consequences of either option.

Most people becomes residents as a result of a family petition or an employer petition. But there are many other categories of people who can apply for residency. For example, there are diversity visas, self-petitions, refugee and asylee applications, and residency for victims of crime or trafficking. Beyond those, there are smaller programs to give residency to specific groups of people. An experienced attorney can review each and every potential option to determine which of those might apply.

When applying for a green card in the United States, it's usually recommended to also apply for a work permit and travel permit. Usually those are included in the price of the I-485 filing fee. This may change in the future.

The residency process has become much more complicated in recent years. Many applications now require more than 90 pages of legal forms and sometimes hundreds of additional pages in supporting evidence. USCIS is now rejecting and even denying applications if a single instruction in any of the forms is missed. No refunds are issued for denied applications if they were filed incomplete. Rejected applications may result in people missing critical deadlines that will prevent them from reapplying.

Recent News About Green Cards and Residency

USCIS Updates Eligibility Information for Liberians Applying for Green Cards Under LRIF

USCIS updated its policy manual on April 7, 2020, to include additional information and eligibility requirements for Liberians and family applying for green cards under the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (LRIF). The new policy guidance provides clarity on who qualifies for residency under the law and explains how USCIS interprets other provisions of this…

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US Embassy Nairobi

New Public Charge Rule for Immigrants Applying for Green Cards Outside the United States with Embassies and Consulates

The new Public Charge Rule is going into effect both inside and outside the United States for many immigrants applying for immigrant visas. Inside the United States, the process is called Adjustment of Status. Outside the United States, it is usually called consular processing. USCIS controls the applications for Adjustment of Status and has issued…

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