Green Cards: Who Gets the Green Light?

Obtaining a green card can be a difficult process in the United States. This document gives the holder the rights of a permanent resident, including the right to work, enter, exit and live in the country. Eventually, a green card holder may even apply for U.S. citizenship. However, only certain people qualify for a green card.

At the very top of the list of those eligible are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, as immigration laws are written to support families as cohesive units. Relatives such as spouses, minor children and parents of American citizens have a good chance of qualifying for a green card, as these individuals are most closely connected citizens. The United States government does not put a bar on how many green cards it will issue to immediate relatives each year, and often applicants are able to obtain these cards relatively quickly.

Other family members are next on the list of those eligible for green cards. These include relatives such as spouses and children of green card holders, unmarried and married adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens. These individuals fall into the “preference category” in terms of granting green cards. Although they are offered some degree of preference, these applicants may wait anywhere from four to 24 years for a green card.

Finally, certain preferred employees may be able to gain access to a green card. Employees with special skills and advanced degrees and those who have been noted as extraordinary in their field may receive preference. However, only 140,000 of these green cards are offered every year, so it’s a very competitive category.

To learn more about obtaining a green card, contact the skilled Florida immigration attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras today.

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