Green Card Steps: How to Obtain Your Permanent Residence in the U.S.

By September 26, 2018Immigration Law Blog
green card steps

Are you wondering about the green card steps necessary to obtain your permanent residence in the U.S.? If you’re seeking your green card and want to know what to expect before contacting an immigration attorney to assist you with the process, then today’s article is for you.

Green Card Steps

Step 1: Determine Whether You Are Eligible For a Green Card

Visiting the USCIS website will help you to determine whether you are eligible for a green card, but if you have any questions about your eligibility, it’s always best to contact an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will be able to look at your specific circumstances and help you to answer questions specific to them.

Step 2: Determine Which Application Process You Need to Follow For Your Application

There are two application processes for your green card depending on whether you are already in the United States or still living overseas. If you are already living in the United States, you may need to apply for your permanent residence by filing for a change of status with the USCIS. If you are living overseas, you will need to pursue your green card via consular processing with the U.S. Department of State.

Step 3: Filing an Immigrant Petition

In most incidences, you will need to have someone sponsor or petition for you to become a green card holder and live in the U.S. There are multiple ways to go about this depending on why you are coming to the United States. In some few situations, however, you can file your own petition.

If you need help filing an immigrant petition, it’s very important to hire an immigration attorney to help you with the process. This is even more important with the Trump administration proposing the rejection of immigration applications for simple clerical errors.

Step 4: Filing a Green Card Application

Once your immigration petition has been approved by USCIS AND a visa becomes available in the visa category you applied for, you will then need to file a green card application with USCIS OR a visa application with the U.S. Department of State.

Again, if you have any questions about filling in your application, it’s best to consult an immigration attorney who can help you to fill in your application accurately taking into consideration your individual circumstances.

Step 5: Biometrics

The next step in the green card application process is to go to a biometrics appointment. At your appointment, you will have your fingerprints taken, have your photo taken, and provide a signature for your green card if approved.

The biometrics appointment is an important part of the green card process because it allows the USCIS to track immigrants living in the United States. If you fail to provide biometrics, you will not have your application approved nor will you progress to the next step of the green card application process.

Step 6: An Interview

After attending your biometrics appointment, you will have an interview appointment with USCIS. During this interview, the interviewer will ask a variety of questions depending on your reason for applying for permanent residence. You may not receive a decision on your green card application during your interview, this is not out of the ordinary.

Step 7: You Receive a Decision on Your Application

Some time after your interview, you will receive a decision on your green card application.

If your application for your green card is denied, you do have the right to appeal the decision or motion to reopen the case. It is best to do this after retaining an immigration attorney who can help you through the process. An attorney won’t just be able to help you fill in the necessary paperwork, but they will also be able to make sure that your application and paperwork are filed in time and at the right location. Your attorney will also be able to make a case for as to why your application should be reconsidered – something which can be very overwhelming to do by yourself!

Ready to Hire an Immigration Attorney to Help You with the Green Card Process?

If you’re ready to hire an immigration attorney to assist you with the green card process and you’re in the Pasadena, California area, Nelson Immigration can help you. Pick up the phone and give them a call at 626-683-3451 or fill in the online contact request form located here.