The process of relocating to a new country is full of stress and sacrifice. Eventually, as a person acclimates to their new home, they begin planting roots in that country – living, working, and raising their family there. Opportunities arise and it becomes clear that in order to continue thriving in this new location, it is necessary to pursue residency on a permanent basis. This is precisely what our Chicago permanent residency attorneys do: work alongside immigrants who wish to obtain a Green Card and continue their lives in the country. To start the process today, consider contacting our office at (312) 972-7969 today. 

What is Permanent Residency?

Broadly speaking, permanent residency refers to a person’s legal status in a country. The person is not a citizen of that country, but rather they have the right to live and work there on a permanent basis. In the United States, a person with permanent residency is allowed to reside anywhere they please within the country. They are not limited on the basis of city or state. 

In the United States, permanent residents are granted rights similar to those of American citizens, including: 

  • The right to live permanently in the United States, assuming the person does not commit any actions that are worthy of being removed from the country.
  • The right to work at any legal job that the individual chooses and is qualified for. There are certain jobs, however, that are limited to U.S. citizens due to security reasons.
  • The right to be protected by all laws of the United States, as well as the person’s state and local jurisdictions.

Every year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services receives hundreds of thousands of permanent residency applications. To learn more about how to successfully obtain permanent residency, consider seeking assistance from an experienced Chicago permanent residency attorney

What is a Permanent Resident Card?

A Permanent Resident Card, more commonly known as a Green Card, is an identification document that confirms a person’s permanent residency status in the United States. It is an official document that contains a person’s photograph and personal information, much like any other identification card. 

When a person holds a Green Card, they can permanently live and work in the United States, and travel internationally, within the bounds of the law, and at their discretion. Always check with your attorney before you travel. Fortunately, there are different avenues that a person can use to obtain permanent residency in the United States. 

Are There Different Types of Green Cards?

Yes, there are several different types of Green Cards that can be obtained depending on an individual’s unique circumstances and situation. Since the Law Office of Jennifer L. Bennett was founded in 2011, our Chicago Green Card lawyers have worked alongside our clients to obtain permanent residency through many different channels. Some of the most common types of Green Cards that we have successfully achieved for our clients include the following. 

Family-Based Green Card

A large portion of Green Cards are granted on the basis of family relationships. There are specific eligibility criteria that must be met to obtain a family-based Green Card. If any of the following are applicable, you may qualify for this type of permanent residency:

  • You are the immediate relative (spouse, unmarried child under 21, or parent) of a United States citizen
  • You are the relative of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, based on the family-based preference categories
  • You are the fiancé(e) of a United States citizen, or their child
  • You are a widower of a United States citizen
  • You are a VAWA self-petitioner 

Employment-Based Green Card

Another common avenue to obtain permanent residency in the United States is through employment. If you hold a EB-1, EB-2, or EB-3 employment-based immigrant visa or you are a physician on a National Interest Waiver (NIW), you may be eligible to receive a Green Card. Moreover, if you are an immigrant investor who holds an EB-5 visa, you may also qualify through this channel. Additionally, religious worker visas (the R-1 visa) are available to those who want to temporarily come to the United States to work within religious capacities or services. 

Self-Petition Green Card

Many times, applying for a Green Card requires a sponsor in the form of a family member or employer. In specific cases, a person may apply for a Green Card through the self-petition category. There are three categories of people who may apply for permanent residency through self-petition, namely:

  • Individuals of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics 
  • Persons who were granted a National Interest Waiver
  • Individuals seeking immigration through the Violence Against Women Act

Frequently Asked Questions

Given our years of experience and our record of success, we often receive questions from prospective clients regarding permanent residency in the United States. Some of the most common inquiries that we receive include: 

How Do I Apply for a Green Card?

The application process changes depending on the type of Green Card that a person applies for. Applying for an employment-based Green Card is quite different from applying for permanent residency on the basis of refugee status, for instance. A Chicago permanent residency attorney can help you identify which application process is appropriate for your specific case. 

The initial steps, however, depend on whether or not a person is located in the United States at the time of application. If they are, they will utilize the Adjustment of Status process. If they are not, they will use consular processing. Once the correct method is determined, the applicant will file a petition or their sponsor will submit the petition on their behalf. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to place an accurate time frame on the Green Card application process. The length of time that it takes to get a Green Card depends on the type of card that you are applying for and where you are applying from. Broadly speaking, it can take anywhere from a few months to several years to receive a decision on your Green Card application. 

How Can An Attorney Help?

A trusted team, like the Law Office of Jennifer L. Bennett, will know the ins and outs of the permanent residency and green card processes in the United States. Without a team on your side, you might feel overwhelmed, unsure of what green cards are available to you based on your unique situation, and ultimately make costly and timely mistakes along the way. By hiring an experienced attorney, ideally you can avoid common challenges and setbacks that might occur if you were to apply for a green card alone.  

Secure Permanent Residency with an Experienced Chicago Green Card Attorney at the Law Office of Jennifer L. Bennett

We understand firsthand how frustrating and time-consuming it is to apply for a Green Card in the United States. In fact, our law office was founded to help reduce this stress and provide an easier way for immigrants to pursue permanent residency. To learn more about how we can help, schedule a consultation with a Chicago permanent residency attorney at the Law Office of Jennifer L. Bennett today at (312) 972-7969.