Raleigh-Durham Green Card Lawyer

Helping Individuals & Families Secure Green Cards & the Green Card Registry

Obtaining legal permanent residency, or a green card, is a crucial step on the path to becoming a United States citizen. Green card holders are authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, and they are also eligible for several other benefits. At Brown Immigration Law, our Raleigh-Durham green card lawyers understand the challenges that individuals and families face when they are trying to obtain green cards, and we are here to help.

In some cases where a foreign national has been present in the United States for an extensive period of time, the U.S. government may allow them to receive a green card through registry. In order to be eligible for registry, an individual must have resided continuously in the United States since January 1, 1972, whether lawfully or unlawfully, be a person of good moral character, eligible for naturalization, and not removable or deportable under Section 237(a)(4)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Green Card Registry Process in NC

Applying for a green card through registry requires an individual to complete a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

With this form, they must also provide certain documentary requirements including, but not limited to:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information (for individuals between 14 and 79 years of age)
  • Copy of government-issued photo I.D.
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Evidence of entry into the U.S. before January 1, 1972
  • Evidence to establish continuous residence since entry

Once an application and all necessary documents have been submitted and approved, the individual will receive a green card and lawful permanent resident status.

Do I Need an Attorney for Green Card Registry?

If you are considering applying for a green card through registry, do not hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable Raleigh-Durham immigration attorney. They will be able to inform you of your options, assist you through each step of the process, and ensure that you have the highest chance of obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Brown Immigration Law is a respected immigration firm serving clients in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, the United States, and the world. We have decades of experience and are prepared to provide the legal service you need.

What is Legal Permanent Residency?

Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), commonly known as a green card, is an immigration status in the United States that allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the country.

LPR status is not a temporary status like a work or student visa; rather, it provides long-term, indefinite permission to live and work in the U.S.

Green card holders enjoy many of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, including the ability to work for any employer, own property, and travel in and out of the country. They are also protected by U.S. laws and have access to social benefits.

While permanent residency is not citizenship, it is a significant step towards it. Green card holders can apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting certain eligibility requirements, such as residing in the U.S. for a specific period.

Green Cards are typically issued with a 10-year validity. Before expiration, green card holders must renew their cards to maintain their LPR status. In some cases, conditional green cards are issued, requiring additional steps to remove conditions, such as joint filing of Form I-751.

Green card holders are expected to maintain their primary residence in the U.S. and may face consequences, including potential loss of LPR status, if they abandon their U.S. residence.

How to Apply for Permanent Residency

To apply for legal permanent residency in the United States, also known as a green card, there are several pathways available. The most common ways include family-sponsored immigration, employment-based immigration, refugee/asylee status adjustment, and the Diversity Visa Program.

Here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Determine Your Eligibility:
    • Family-sponsored: If you have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, they may be able to sponsor you.
    • Employment-based: If you have a job offer or specific employment qualifications, you may be eligible for employment-based immigration.
    • Refugee/Asylee: If you were granted refugee or asylee status, you may be eligible to apply for a green card.
  2. File the Immigrant Petition: For family-sponsored immigration, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member needs to file an immigrant petition on behalf of the foreign national. For employment-based immigration, the employer usually files the petition.
  3. Wait for Visa Availability: Due to annual limits on the number of immigrant visas, you may need to wait until a visa becomes available, especially for family-sponsored and employment-based categories.
  4. File Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status: Once a visa becomes available, you can file Form I-485 to adjust your status to that of a legal permanent resident if you are already in the U.S.
  5. Consular Processing (If Outside the U.S.): If you are outside the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate after the immigrant petition is approved.
  6. Biometrics Appointment and Interview: USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting, and you may be called for an interview to determine your eligibility.
  7. Receive a Decision: USCIS will decide on your application. If approved, you will receive your green card.

How Our Raleigh-Durham Green Card Attorneys Can Help

At Brown Immigration Law, our Raleigh-Durham green card lawyers are committed to helping individuals and families obtain permanent residence as quickly as possible. We understand the challenges that individuals and families face when they are trying to obtain green cards, and we are here to help.

Contact us right away to get started and schedule your initial consultation.

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