Every year thousands of immigrants are able to gain lawful permanent residence in the United States. However, either through family connection or through employment, there are certain complexities in applying for permanent residence. In light of this issue, the following sections explore in more detail some of the ways people can legally live and work in the US on a permanent basis.
Family-based immigrant visa numbers are distributed according to preference categories. The higher you rank on the preference scale, the sooner you’re likely to receive a number. The following are the four family-preference categories:
- First preference: Unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or older) of US citizens
- Second preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents and their unmarried children of any age
- Third preference: Married sons and daughters of US citizens
- Fourth preference: Brothers and sisters of US citizens who are 21 or older
After the visa petition filed for them by their sponsoring relative is approved by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens — parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 — usually don’t have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available.
Although it’s usually relatively easy for the foreign-born spouses of US citizens or lawful permanent residents to come to the country, the BCIS doesn’t take kindly to folks who marry for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. The BCIS will want to see evidence that yours is truly a marriage and not just a union on paper. You and your spouse should expect to answer questions about each other and about the marriage, as well as provide physical evidence of the relationship. For this reason, in addition to important documents like your marriage certificate, be sure to save things like travel documents, vacation and family photos, billing statements, and other tangible evidence of your life together.
Each year, a maximum of 140, 000 applicants are awarded permanent residence in employment based categories. You may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a labor certification and then file a petition for you. This consists of priority workers, professionals with advanced degrees, skilled workers, religious workers, government employees and investors.
Certain foreign nationals can apply themselves for legal permanent residence without an employer or sponsor, and avoid the time-consuming labor certification process of testing the labor market for US workers if they have truly exceptional qualifications or can show their work will be in the national interest.
For more information about the requirements on obtaining permanent residence to US, contact V and I Solutions today. We provide custom-tailored international services to anyone seeking entry into the United States for any lawful purpose, whether temporary or permanent.