Green Card Lawyers in Houston
We Advocate Fiercely for Our Clients
The process of immigrating to the United States can be complex and confusing. Let Davis & Associates be your guide as you navigate the challenges of filing for permanent residency. Our Houston green card attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience helping clients from all over the world obtain the right to live and work in the U.S.
Call (832) 720-7112 now to schedule a consultation with our team.
What Is a Green Card?
Green card is a colloquialism for what is really called lawful permanent resident or LPR status in U.S. immigration law.
A person having LPR status has the right to permanently reside in the United States, to work anywhere she or he chooses, and to seek entry into the United States after international travel without requiring a unique visa.
The U.S. government has a diversity visa program designed to promote diversity among the immigrant population in the United States.
Each year, 50,000 green cards are given to foreign nationals of countries who have a lower rate of sending immigrants to the United States than others. Countries sending large numbers of people to the United States for LPR status are excluded from the program, such as China and India.
Green Card Eligibility & Sponsorship
- An employer can sponsor an employee or a person targeted for employment through a process called labor certification.
Another option is to seek a green card through investment. On an investment of $500,000 or $1 million depending on the specific investment vehicle the investor chooses, a foreign national can request permanent residence in the United States.
People can also acquire green cards through the sponsorship of qualifying
- Under current law, U.S. citizens can sponsor spouses, parents when the petitioning child is over age 20, children, regardless of the child’s age or marital status, and siblings for permanent residence.
Permanent residents can sponsor spouses and unmarried children. Spouses, unmarried children under age 21 and parents of U.S. citizens over age 20 are regarded as immediate relatives under the law.
There is no limitation to the number of immediate relatives that can immigrate to the United States– no annual quotas. For all other relationships, including spouses and minor children of LPRs, there are annual quotas that create in some cases wait times of over two decades.
Although these are the most common ways to immigrate to the United States on a permanent basis, there are other opportunities. Such as, refugees resettled in the United States and those approved for political asylum can apply for permanent residence after one year.
Adjustment of Status vs. Consular Processing
If you have determined that you meet the requirements to apply for a green card, then you must choose which application process to use. There are two ways to apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States.
These methods are:
- Adjustment of status: For those who are already present in the U.S.
- Consular processing: For those who are outside of the United States
If you are currently outside of the U.S., you may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate in the country in which you currently reside, through consular processing. On the other hand, if you are already present in the U.S., you may use adjustment of status to apply for a green card without needing to return to your home country. However, you must have entered the country legally and have a visa that is immediately available.
Typically, only immediate relatives in the U.S. have the opportunity to file for a green card through adjustment of status. Family preference categories usually go through consular processing.
The primary benefits of consular processing are that it is generally faster, less expensive, and has a lower risk of refusal. The biggest downside of this process is that individuals may not be able to visit the U.S. while the immigrant visa is pending, which could take longer than a year.
Obtain Skilled Legal Guidance Today
Regardless of whether you apply for a green card through adjustment of status or consular processing, Davis & Associates is here to help. Our Houston green card lawyers can analyze your case and provide you with our professional opinion on how best to proceed.