Green Cards

Green card

Marriage, Work and Family permanent residence

A Green Card holder is a status that grants a person authorization to permanently live and work in the United States. There are several ways to obtain a Green Card. Among them, it is possible to be sponsored by a family member or an employer located in the United States. If you would like to know if you are eligible a Green Card, please contact us for a free assessment.

 Green cards for spouses

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Marriage-based immigration

If you are an American citizen you have two ways to bring your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States to live. They are:

  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen - An immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 is required.
  • Non-immigrant visa for spouse (K-3) - It is important to note that application for the nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) who married a U.S. citizen must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.  After the visa process has been completed, and the visa is issued, the spouse can travel to the United States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case. Two petitions are required:
    • Petition for Alien Relative, Form 1-130; and
    • Petition for Alien Fiancé (e), Form I-129F

If you are not married yet, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry; and live in the U.S.  A non-immigrant visa for fiancé(e) (k-1) is required to travel to the US for marriage. An I-129F fiancé(e) petition is required.  You must marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days after the entry into the United States.

Dependants under the age of 21 can be included on the application provided that they are supported 100% by the primary beneficiary of the application. In cases involving joint custody, legal documentation must be provided to ensure all parties with a responsibility for a child's well-being are aware of the intent to pursue permanent residency in the United States.

All new! Same-sex Marriage recognized by USCIS

Following the latest decision by the Supreme Court holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure that the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly.

To that end, effective immediately, June 28th 2013 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been directed to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.

This means that same-sex partners may now file the Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). Same-sex partners are now eligible to petition for their spouse, and their spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of their marriage.

In evaluating the petition, USCIS will be looking to the law of the location where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances.

FAQ

Can U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign citizenI now sponsor his spouse for a family-based immigrant visa (Green Card)?
You may file a Form I-130 (and any applicable accompanying application). The eligibility to petition for a spouse, and the spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be automatically denied as a result of the same-sex nature of your marriage.

My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse?
Yes, you can file the petition. In evaluating the petition, as a general matter, USCIS will review to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which USCISs historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage. Whether those exceptions apply may depend on individual, fact-specific circumstances. If necessary, we may provide further guidance on this question through a consultation.

 Green Cards Employment-based

Green Card from L-1A:  Certain multinational executives or managers can obtain their green cards by showing that they served for at least one year abroad in an executive or managerial position with the parent, subsidiary, or affiliated company of the U.S. Company.

This process requires the individual to have a permanent job offer from the U.S. Company to work in an executive or managerial position. The benefit of this visa is that the U.S.Company is not obligated to recruit Americans or demonstrate that Americans are not available to fill the position of the key employee.

Extraordinary abilities Green Card:  The extraordinary ability category is reserved for those immigrants with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, as demonstrated by “sustained national or international acclaim” and “achievements recognized in the field through extensive documentation.This applies only to a small percentage of immigrants that have risen to the very top of their field. Such applicants do not have to have a specific job offer as long as they are entering the U.S. to continue working in the field in which they have extraordinary ability.This includes outstanding professors and researchers who are recognized internationally. No labor certification is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with immigration. 

There are various categories of permanent residency (green card) based on employment but will require the approval from the U.S. Department of Labor that must determine that no Americans are willing or able to fill the position in the United States.  These types of U.S. permanent residency (green cards) take many years to obtain.  

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