Green Card Lawyer – Who Can Apply For Permanent Residency?

For countless foreign nationals, securing a Green Card is the golden ticket to a new life in the United States. But the process isn’t as straightforward as merely filling out an application. When applying for a permanent resident card, it’s essential to understand the qualifying criteria. 

While the end goal for many is the same—a Green Card granting lawful permanent residency—the pathways to reach that destination vary widely. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes applicants’ diverse backgrounds and unique situations. 

There are different eligibility categories that you should consider. Learn which applies to your situation and begin your journey to permanent residency with the help of a Green Card lawyer.

Green Card Attorney: Eligibility For Permanent Residency Applicants

Family-Based Green Card

If the idea of the American dream beckons you, having family ties can be a golden ticket. Here’s a closer look at your options for a family-based Green Card.

Immediate Relatives

Being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen often means a more streamlined pathway to becoming a permanent resident. The reason? There’s no cap on the number of Green Cards given to immediate family members yearly. So, if you fit snugly into this category, the journey to living and working permanently in the United States might be quicker than you think.

Family-Based Preference Categories

Let’s say you’re a sibling, unmarried child below 21 years of age, or married child of a U.S. citizen. The door to permanent residency is open for you through this category. The road might be a tad longer, as specific quotas exist for each category and year. 

Unlike immediate relatives, Green Cards for family preference categories are limited, and the demand often exceeds supply. This can lead to waiting times, and the journey might require more patience. However, the outcome—a life in the United States with your family—makes the wait worthwhile.

Fiancé Green Card

The K-1 Fiancé Visa, commonly called the “Fiance(e) Visa,” is a specialized non-immigrant vVsa issued by the United States government. Its primary purpose is to unite U.S. citizens with their overseas fiancé for the bond of marriage. The U.S. citizen petitioner must have shared in-person moments with their foreign beloved within the last two years. Both individuals must also sincerely commit to tying the knot within 90 days of the foreign fiancé(e) setting foot on American soil. 

Following this joyful union, the foreign spouse can embark on the journey to apply for a Green Card. 

Widower Of A U.S. Citizen

Suppose you are the widow or widower of a U.S. citizen and were legally married to your late spouse at the time of their passing. In that case, you may be eligible for a Green Card through a specific immigration category. This category provides a pathway to permanent residency for surviving spouses who have lost their U.S. citizen partners. To qualify, you need to demonstrate that you were in a bona fide marital relationship with the U.S. citizen at their death. You must not have remarried before obtaining the Green Card. This allows you to pursue lawful permanent residency even after losing your U.S. citizen spouse.

Employment-Based Immigration

Are you looking to blend your professional aspirations with the allure of the United States? The employment category offers just the ticket to help you stay in the country indefinitely.

Immigrant Workers

These immigration preferences categorize potential immigrant workers based on their qualifications and job roles. First preference workers encompass individuals with exceptional abilities in science, arts, education, business, or athletics. It also covers outstanding professors, researchers, or multinational managers or executives. 

Second preference workers consist of those in professions requiring advanced degrees, those with outstanding abilities in science, arts, or business, or those pursuing a national interest waiver. Third preference workers are divided into skilled workers, professionals necessitating a U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and unskilled workers with experience of less than two years. These categories help determine eligibility for various employment-based immigration opportunities in the United States.

Physician National Interest Waiver

Physicians who commit to working full-time in clinical practice within designated underserved areas play a vital role in addressing healthcare disparities and shortages across the United States. These dedicated healthcare professionals provide essential medical services to communities lacking adequate access to healthcare and contribute to local economies and community well-being. After a physician meets eligibility criteria under this category, they may file Form I-485 to adjust their status.

Immigrant Investor

The immigrant investor program, often called the EB-5 program, provides a unique pathway for foreign investors to obtain U.S. permanent residency by making substantial investments in the country. To qualify, an immigrant investor must invest a minimum of $1,050,000 in a new commercial enterprise. 

However, if the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA) or an approved rural area, the minimum investment amount is reduced to $800,000. These lower investment thresholds in TEAs are designed to encourage investment in areas with high unemployment or needing economic development.

Other Eligibility Categories

Life’s filled with unique situations, and it’s no different when it comes to Green Card eligibility. Here are other categories you may be eligible to apply under. 

Human Trafficking Victims

Human trafficking remains one of the darkest issues globally. Victims often suffer unimaginable trauma, and in many instances, they end up on foreign shores. Recognizing the gravity of their ordeal, the United States offers them an opportunity to start anew. 

If you’re a victim who has provided invaluable assistance to law enforcement or other related agencies in their quest to combat trafficking, you may be eligible for a Green Card. It’s a way for the United States to appreciate your courage and offer you a fresh start away from the shadows of the past.

Refugees & Asylum Seekers

Who Qualifies For Permanent Residency Green Card Lawyer GuideAre you running from fear and persecution? The United States stands as a beacon of hope. If you’re seeking refuge, you have pathways to permanent residency at the ready. 

Imagine being driven from your home, not by choice but due to life-threatening circumstances like war or persecution. For many, this is but a stark reality. In such situations, you can find solace in the United States as a refugee or an asylum seeker. 

Gaining asylum or refugee status isn’t the end of your journey; it’s merely a chapter. Becoming a permanent resident can help you integrate and build a future in the country that offers you refugee. Fortunately, the United States has provisions in place. Once the government recognizes you as a refugee or an asylum seeker, pathways to acquire lawful permanent residency are available.

Victims Of Abuse

Other paths to obtaining a Green Card for abuse victims are through the U Visa or the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition. It provides a crucial pathway to lawful permanent residency for individuals who have suffered physical or emotional abuse. These abuses may be at the hands of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child. This humanitarian Visa allows victims to escape the shadows, free themselves from abusive relationships, and seek safety and security in the United States.

Green Card Through Registry

This pathway allows long-term undocumented immigrants who have been continuously residing in the United States since before Jan. 1, 1972. Applicants must demonstrate continuous presence in the country and maintain good moral character to be eligible.

Green Card Through Other Categories

Various immigration pathways lead to Green Card eligibility, such as the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF), the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program for lottery winners, and the Cuban Adjustment Act for Cuban natives. There is also the dependent status under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA), protection for abused spouses and children under HRIFA, and Lautenberg parolees. 

Those who can apply also include beneficiaries of the Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000, American Indians born in Canada with significant Native American heritage living in the United States. Finally, individuals born in the United States to foreign high-ranking officials or diplomats who cannot return home under Section 13 are also eligible.

Let A Green Card Lawyer From Lozano Law Firm Help

Getting a Green Card in the United States can be tricky, but Lozano Law Firm can make it easier. With skilled attorneys well-versed in immigration intricacies, they simplify the permanent residency application process, ensuring accuracy and timely submissions. 

When you’re facing complex cases or trying to understand the USCIS system, Lozano Law Firm offers solutions for you. Their direct communication can make your journey toward lawful permanent residency seamless and more confident.


In pursuing U.S. permanent residency, understanding Green Card eligibility categories is crucial. These categories include family-based, employment-based, and others, each offering tailored routes. With the assistance of a Green Card lawyer, the intricate application process becomes simpler, ensuring accuracy and addressing delays. 

By understanding eligibility categories and having a skilled immigration lawyer, you can confidently progress toward becoming a lawful permanent resident. Ultimately, these categories provide a guide and a tangible opportunity to transform the aspirations of immigrants in the United States into a reality.

What You Need To Know About Your Green Card Process

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