Frequently asked questions about immigrant visas.

Are you eligible for permanent legal residency (a “green card”)?

Criteria for Permanent Residency

There are three vehicles through which foreign nationals can establish eligibility for permanent residency. The first is through family relationship, (relative petitions) the second is through employment (labor certifications or first preference visa petitions) and the third is through a successful claim for political asylum. This office only handles relative and employment based cases.

Are you eligible for legal permanent residency through a family relationship?

Relative Petitions

Basic Criteria for Family Cases:

•      You must have a relative, parent, child, spouse or sibling who is either a legal permanent resident or a citizen of the United States.

•      Your United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident relative  must  have the financial ability to support you and be able to demonstrate ability to the satisfaction of United States Immigration & Naturalization Service.

•       You must have documentary evidence of the existence of the relationship as necessary i.e. birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce certificates, Naturalization Certificates, “green cards” (alien registration cards).

•       You must reside in legal status in the United States during the entire penances of your case or reside in your home country until your permanent residency visa can be processed through your local consul/Embassy.

•        You must be able to pass all of the required United States security checks.

 

Are you eligible for legal permanent residency through an employment relationship?

Employment based cases:

Basic Criteria for Employment Cases*:

•            An American company must be willing to offer you a position in the United States at the prevailing wage as determined by the United States Department of Labor.

•            Your background must meet the minimum requirements for the position which is the subject matter of your case.

•            The American company must be willing to advertise the position which is the subject matter of the case.

•            The American company must be able to demonstrate that it has the ability to pay the wage as offered in the case.

•            The job which is the subject matter of the case may or may not require a bachelor’s degree and the job may be of a skilled or unskilled nature.

•            You must be able to produce documentary evidence to confirm your work experience.

•            You must reside in the United States in legal status during the entire period of the case or you may continue to reside in your home country for the duration of your case until Embassy or Consular processing.

•            You must be able to pass all of the required United States security checks.

*-Permanent residency applications may be handled in a slightly different manner in the case of an L visa holder who is working in the United States in an executive or managerial capacity. These cases, which are filed for  “multi-national executives”,  “extraordinary ability cases”, and national interest waiver cases, etc. bypass the United States Department of Labor and involve a shorter process