Green Cards & Permanent Residency
Raleigh Immigration Attorneys Helping You
If you've come to the United States to spend the rest of your life
here, you likely no longer want to deal with the hassle of temporary visas,
which can expire and leave you with undocumented status. You may even
be considering becoming a full citizen.
The next step for you is to obtain a green card. A green card gives you permanent residence, and many of the rights and privileges held by U.S. citizens.
Raleigh Green Card Lawyer
Obtaining a green card is a complicated process, and if done incorrectly, could result in unnecessary wait times that stretch decades. A diligent Raleigh green card lawyer from Clifford Law Group, also known as Triangle Immigration, can handle your permanent residence applications. We will seek the shortest possible wait time for you, and represent you in any proceedings. Call Clifford Law Group at (919) 842-5461 or contact us on our online form to set up a consultation to start your green card application.
We help green card applicants throughout the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, including in Wake County, Orange County and Durham County.Se habla Español.
What a Green Card Means for North Carolina Immigrants
When an immigrant earns permanent resident status, he or she is given a card that is literally green, hence the name "green card."
When you are granted legal permanent resident status, you have many of the same rights and responsibilities of a citizen. You can work without government permission. You can join the Armed Forces - male permanent residents ages 18-25 are required to sign up for Selective Service, which serves as the "draft" during a conflict. You will be able to move freely within the United States, and can leave and return to the U.S.A. as a citizen would.
The ability to vote in elections is the primary right that permanent residents do not have. Also, while "permanent" is in the title, green cards expire after 10 years, at which point it must be renewed. Renewal may be denied. If denied, you cannot appeal the decision, but you can move to reopen the case. Your Raleigh immigration lawyer can help you with that procedure.
You may seek a green card while in the United States or at the consulate of your home country.
If you are facing a complex legal matter, it is vital that you retain the immediate representation of Clifford Law Group. The right attorney may make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Make the smart choice – enlist the supportive assistance of our Raleigh natives today.
No Sponsor Required for Some Raleigh Green Cards
Most permanent residents are sponsored, either by family or their employer. However, there are a few narrow situations where sponsorship is not required.
If you were admitted into the United States as a refugee, you are required to apply for a green card. If you came to the United States and are granted asylum, you may apply for one. If you are victim of spousal, child or parental abuse, and your abuser is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may also seek a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also grants 50,000 green cards to people from countries with low immigration rates, called diversity visas. This is called the "Green Card Lottery" by many.
Sponsorship through Research Triangle Family
A U.S. citizen or permanent resident can sponsor certain family members to obtain green cards. If the family member is the spouse or unmarried child younger than 21 of a U.S. citizen or, if the citizen is older than 21, parent, then there is no waiting list or cap on green cards at all.
However, in most situations, there is a waiting list. The wait can be literally decades long. Checking the status of eligible visas can be done at the U.S. Consular site, and is commonly known as a visa bulletin. Citizens can sponsor children who are older than 21 or married or brothers and sisters, and permanent residents can sponsor spouses and unmarried children. However, the wait for children of permanent residents is so long they may turn 21 while waiting, which will extend the time even longer. It's important to start as soon as possible.
Sponsored by Wake County Employer
If you are offered a permanent job in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, your employer may petition for you to obtain a green card. You are placed in a certain "preference" group depending on your qualifications.
People who have some sort of extraordinary ability, are internationally recognized or have managed multinational countries are in the highest preference group and may have no wait time, and do not even need an employer to sponsor them. Workers with advanced degrees and skilled workers usually have a wait time of a few years, while unskilled workers may wait a decade or more.
You may also seek a visa if you are investing $500,000 or more in an enterprise that will employ at least 10 full-time workers in the United States.
Removing Conditions on a Green Card
The USCIS seeks to root out those who get married for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence by applying conditions to green cards based on a marriage that is less than two years old. A conditional green card expires after two years, instead of 10 years.
In the 90 days before a conditional green card expires, you must apply to remove the condition. If you are the spouse and still married or were the child of the spouses, this can be a simple process. However, if you are divorced, you can still seek to remove the conditions and stay in the United States.
Wake County Permanent Resident Attorney
Don't wait to begin your green card applications. Wait times can be very long. Our Raleigh green card lawyers at Clifford Law Group can help you get started, and advise you on the best path forward.