US Green Card Application

The U.S. Green Card is one step below U.S. Citizenship. It gives you the right to stay in the country, to work, and to travel freely. It is the ultimate desire for most immigrants who want to stay in the United States. If you work and live in the United States under any Visa category, you are probably considering the next step, the U.S. Green Card.
The Victoria Law Group helps people with their Green Card application. We take clients step-by-step through the process. We have a great track record, and we have dealt with all kinds of issues.
If you are considering applying for your Green Card, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Green Card Questions

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Top 10 Questions About US Green Card Application

A United States Green Card is an immigration status given by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to provide proof that the individual holding the card is lawfully in the United States. It is a lawful permanent resident status granted to non-citizens who have obtained the right to live in the United States. The individual holding a Green Card must renew the card every 10 years while those who are still on a conditional Green Card must renew it every two years. Conditional Green Cards are usually authorizations based on marriage or on investment. It is called a “Green” card, because the paper that it has traditionally been printed on is a drab “green” color.
There are different categories of the Green Card. The requirements are different for each category and it is granted only to those who shall comply with the requirements. Generally, a Green Card can be obtained through family relations with citizens of the United States, marriage with a citizen of the United States, humanitarian reasons such as those who are given asylum or refuge by the United States government, and by reason of employment.
It depends. There are different categories for Green Cards that you may be eligible for. The following are the categories that could help you with your eligibility:
Family-Based Green Card. A family-based Green Card is an eligibility available for the close relatives of United States citizens. Eligible family members vary and the following are the family based eligibilities:
  • For the immediate family members, if you are the spouse of a United States citizen, if you are the unmarried child under the age of 21 of a United States citizen, or if you are the parent of a United States citizen who is at least 21 years old, you are eligible under the family-based Green Card category.
  • If you are a family member of a United States citizen such as the unmarried son or daughter and is above 21 years old, if you are the married son or daughter of a United States citizen, or if you are the sibling of the United States citizen who is at least 21 years old.
  • If you are a family member of a lawful permanent resident, you qualify under this category.
  • If you are the abused spouse, parent, or child of a United States Citizen, you may also qualify under this category.
  • If you are also the spouse of a United States citizen, who obtained a K-1 Visa, you are eligible for citizenship under this category.
Employment-Based Green Card. An employment-based Green Card is one obtained when you are employed in the United States by a United States company. The following are the employment-based Green Cards that you can use:
  • Priority Workers or EB-1 is given to those who are multinational managers and executives. This is also available for those who are in positions of arts, sciences, and education. The outstanding professors and researchers also fall under this category.
  • Exceptional Individuals and Advanced Degree holders or EB-2 applies to those who are employed based on positions that hold at least a master’s degree, a position in the arts, sciences, and business, as well as positions of national interest.
  • Physicians are also given a lot of Green Card options under this category as long as they agree to work full time in underserved areas in the United States.
  • The individuals who invest in the United States are also given the option to have a Green Card under this category. Nationals of other countries who have invested or are investing at least $900k in targeted investment areas in a new business in the United States and who will employ at least 10 workers are also given the access to a Green Card through this category (EB-5).
Special Humanitarian ReasonsThere is also the special category of the Green Card granted under special humanitarian reasons. The following are the individuals that may be entitled to a special humanitarian category of the Green Card:
  • People who fear or fear experiencing persecution in their home country can always seek protection in the United States. This is called the asylum status. Those who are already in the United States for at least a year since receiving the special consideration will be granted a Green Card and will also have the opportunity to bring their families to the United States.
  • Human trafficking victims who are in the United States, whether legally or undocumented, may also apply for a visa for up to four years as long as they help prosecute the perpetrators of human trafficking. Once they have lived in the United States for three years or have helped during the period of prosecuting the case, the individual may get a Green Card from the United States government. This would be subject to certain categories of good moral character.
  • Victims of certain mental and physical abuse are also entitled to a visa and may then get a Green Card. To qualify for a Green Card, the individual must prove that he has lived physically in the United States for at least three years from receiving the visa, that he has not left the United States from the time of application, and that they participated in the prosecution of the case.
  • Victims of domestic abuse are also entitled to a Green Card once they comply with the requirements set by law. The application is often done surreptitiously without the knowledge of the abusive partner, parent, or child. The United States government vows to provide protection to victims of domestic violence.
Diversity Lottery Green Card. A Green Card that is available for those who want to try their luck and who live in a country where there is very little migration to the United States. ● Long Time Resident Green Card. For individuals who have tried their luck in the United States and have lived in the United States for a long time, the longtime resident Green Card is available. For individuals who have physically been present in the United States and have lived there since January 1, 1972 can get their Green Cards processed through a registry. The following are the Green Card criteria for such individuals:
  • That the individual had entered the United States before January 1, 1972, which they would need to prove by providing an I-94 travel record. Their entry to the United States may be lawful or unlawful;
  • That the individual has not left the United States since arriving and they can provide proof of that;
  • That the individual possesses the right amount of “good moral character” and that they have not committed certain types of crimes, such as fraud, prostitution, or homicide;
  • That the individual is eligible for a United States citizenship through the process of naturalization
  • That the individual did not commit any crimes that would negate their good moral character like entering into a fraudulent marriage to stay in the United States; and
  • That the individual has not committed crimes that would make them “inadmissible” based on the current rules of inadmissibility
There are a few reasons why your application for a United States Green Card could be denied.
Health Related Reasons. A medical exam report is required for admission as a United States permanent resident Approval must come from a government-approved doctor. The results of the exam may lead to a denial if it is shown that the individual applying has the following circumstances:
  • The applicant has a communicable disease that is dangerous to the public;
  • The applicant failed to provide documentation of having had the required vaccinations;
  • The applicant is a drug abuser or is an addict; or
  • The applicant is diagnosed with a mental or a physical disorder that may lead him to being a threat to others.
Crime Related Reasons. There are also some crime related reasons for denial of a US Green Card. The following are some of the types of crimes that may lead to a denial of a Green Card:
  • Drug trafficking;
  • Prostitution
  • Commercialized vice;
  • Money laundering;
  • Severe violations of religious freedoms as an official in a foreign government;
  • Crimes of moral turpitude; and
  • Fraud
If you are convicted of any of the crimes stated above, your chances of being a United States permanent resident are very slim. However, you may still be able to explain your side. ● Security Related Reasons. Some individuals are also denied a United States Visa when they committed acts in violation of the United States security laws. The following are some of these cases:
  • When the applicant engaged in terrorist efforts;
  • When the applicant has former involvement or membership in the Nazi or totalitarian parties;
  • When the applicant is guilty of genocide
  • When the applicant is a member of any group adverse to U.S. foreign policy;
  • When the applicant is engaged in espionage,
  • When the applicant is engaged in any kind of economic sabotage that violate any U.S. export law relating to goods, services, or technology; or
  • When the applicant participates in any activity to overthrow the United States.
Public Charge Reasons. One of the most common reasons for inadmissibility is by reason of public charge. The United States government frowns upon applicants who will become too dependent on the United States government for public support. It is important not to be denied a Green Card for a public charge. To do so, you must prove that you will not become a liability to the United States government. ● Violation of Immigration Rules. Another common cause for denial of a Green Card is violation of immigration rules. Those who have entered the United States illegally may have a hard time getting a United States Green Card. Those who violated the terms and conditions of their visa are also bound for denial of their application. ● Failure Of The Applicant To Do The Administrative Requirements. Of course, some denials are due to the applicant himself. When the applicant fails to meet application requirements, or failed to do the following, his application for a Green Card may get denied:
  • When you failed to submit the required forms;
  • When you failed to read the instructions carefully and provide the information needed;
  • When you fail to submit complete materials; or
  • When you fail to attend the appointments as set up and scheduled by the USCIS.
There are also a few more specific denials depending on the kind of visa you currently hold. The following are the denials that you should watch out for: ● Your Underlying Visa Application Was Denied. When your underlying visa application was denied, your application for a Green Card will no longer move forward because the visa is the foundation of your application. ● Changing Jobs After Filing The I-140. If you hold a work visa, when you change employers, you would have to submit new requirements and meet the requirements for the processing of your Green Card application to continue. The requirements for your I-485 must have been pending (awaiting a USCIS decision) for 180 days or more, and the new job must be the same as, or similar to, the job described in the labor certification and I-140 petition. ● When You Fail To Establish That Your Marriage Is Authentic For marriage-based and family-based applications, the applicant’s failure to establish that the marriage is authentic is a common reason for the denial of the application. There are a few common reasons for denial on this part such as:
  • When one spouse’s divorce is not yet final until after you were married;
  • When you are a same sex couple and you got married in another country where marriage is not valid; or
  • When your marriage is not legally recognized in the country when you got married; or
  • When you fail to show proof that you are indeed a couple.
Of course, it is also possible that the denial you are facing is because of the fact that there was a mistake committed by the immigration officer. In such a case, you may appeal your case application.
The short answer is yes, you can work in the United States while waiting for your Green Card. Any individual who is living in the United States and who already has a valid work visa can continue working in the United States pending his/her Green Card application. The important factor here is the existence of a work permit obtained by filing Form I-765.
Keep in mind that applying for a work permit comes with its own set of challenges. Your work permit application may take around five to seven months to get approved. It is only after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has properly vetted the application that a work permit will get issues. Typically, the work processing time for a work permit used to be at 90 days but that is no longer the case as there is a growing backlog of cases.
If you are the spouse of a Green Card holder, keep in mind that you cannot submit the application prior to your Green Card application. Typically, those who are under this category must wait for an additional 19 to 25 months for the processing of their work visa. This process cannot get expedited because your sponsor or spouse must prove that he/she can support you prior to application of your visa. There is no “I need to work” excuse to prioritize your application.
An application for a marriage based Green Card may take ten months to 38 months depending on a few different factors. Is your spouse a Green Card holder or a United States citizen? Where do you live? Can your spouse support you? These are some of the factors considered by USCIS when granting or denying applications for marriage based Green Cards.
The public charge rule is the rule under which applications for a Green Card can be denied for those who may soon become a liability of the government and receive public benefits. The changes in the public charge rule is one of the most controversial rules that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed in recent times. The main goal of this rule is to reduce the number of people who are eligible for Green Cards and temporary visas.
As of this writing, the new public charge rules aim to expand the definition of government benefits that, once received by the individual, will trigger the public charge ineligibility. This would now include the following:
  • Section 8 on Housing and Rental Assistance;
  • Federal Housing Subsidies;
  • Non-Emergency Medicaid Benefits;
  • Food Stamps; and
  • All of the Status Quo Benefits.
This order was blocked by the courts on August 12 for the cities and applications within New York, Vermont, and Connecticut.
A conditional permanent residency is given to those who have been married for less than two years or to certain investors like the ones under the EB-5 program. Practically speaking, a conditional permanent resident is someone who holds a permanent resident status subject to the terms and conditions set by law.
An individual who holds this kind of visa must apply for a removal of the conditions. Otherwise, the applicant will be placed under ‘out of status’ after the expiration of the conditional permanent resident status. To remove the conditions, the applicant must be able to properly file his application through a ‘Petition to Remove Conditions’
After being granted a Green Card, you are considered a permanent resident. As such, whenever you leave the country you must present the passport from your country of citizenship to travel to a foreign country. Keep in mind that being granted a Green Card does not make you a citizen of the United States. Hence, when you come back from foreign travel, you need to present your valid, unexpired Green Card (Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card).
A Green Card holder holds the following rights:
  • The recipient can live permanently in the United States
  • The recipient may work in the United States; and
  • The recipient is protected by all of the laws of the United States, your state of residence, as well as all local jurisdictions.
  • The recipient is required to obey all of the laws of the United States, both Federal and State law;
  • The recipient is required to file and pay income tax to the United States Internal Revenue Service;
  • The recipient is expected to support the democratic form of government; and
  • The recipient may be required to register and eventually report with the Selective Service. This requirement applies to males aged 18 to 25.
There are a lot of other responsibilities that Green Card holders must abide by. It is very important that you take note of your responsibilities as well as the conditions of your Green Card because it is renewable and you may end up losing it if you do not abide by the immigration rules.

Real Estate Law

The Victoria Law Group consists of competent and dependable attorneys and legal professionals who are highly knowledgeable in the field of real estate law. Our team of legal professionals has assisted several residential and commercial clients with various legal matters associated with real estate including but not limited to the preparation and revision of contracts, acquisition of properties, refinances, foreclosures, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sales, landlord tenant disputes, eminent domain, leasing as well as enforcements and evictions.

There is no case too complex for The Victoria Law Group to handle. We understand Miami Real Estate; we were built for Miami Real Estate. We know how important the real estate industry is to the global economy and we work hard to provide our clients with the best solution for all their legal needs.

Representation in our Real Estate Practice Area includes sales, leases, title insurance and other transactions in addition to structuring complex sale and acquisition agreements and negotiating and closing complex mortgage financing on behalf of lenders and developers.