by Amelia Wong, Legal Intern
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, an “LPR” is a legal permanent resident. This means that the resident is allowed to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
There are a number of ways for a person to become a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States.
Many people who are not citizens of the United States, for example obtain Green Cards for lawful permanent residency. These people may have a family member who is a citizen of the United States, and that family member has applied for legal permanent residence status in order for the nonresident to remain in the United States legally. If the process is approved, the non-resident will receive a green card as proof of legal permanent residence. Because he or she has been granted legal permanent residence status through a family member, it is possible for the person with legal permanent resident to apply for citizenship and become a United States citizen after about five years.
Another way a person may become a legal permanent resident is through his or her place of employment. The person’s job may offer immigration or work visas which allow non-citizen workers to be able to work in the United States. This visa allows said person to become a legal permanent resident, so that he or she will not be deported without reasonable cause.
Similarly, a person can become a lawful permanent resident by claiming refugee or asylum status. In the case that an individual receives refugee or asylum status, the person has proven that he or she was persecuted for his or her beliefs in another country and has therefore found it impossible to live in that country without risk of more persecution. If refugee or asylum status is pursued the legal permanent residence status can be filed through a humanitarian organization or even by oneself.
Some other people who could obtain legal permanent residence status could be:
• an Amerasian child of a United States citizen
• an American Indian born in Canada
• an armed forces member
• a Cuban native or citizen
• a person enrolled in the diversity immigrant visa program
• a Haitian refugee, through the Help Haiti Act of 2010
• a person who fits the Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act
• an informant
• a Lautenberg parolee
• a person who fits the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act
• a person born to a foreign diplomat in the United States
• a victim of criminal activity, or victim of trafficking
Obtaining a Green Card is also possible through special categories of jobs. These jobs include being:
• an Afghan or Iraqi translator,
• a broadcaster
• an International Organization Employee
• an Iraqi who assisted the United States government
• a NATO-6 nonimmigrant
• a Panama Canal Employee
• a Physician through the Physician National Interest Waiver
• a religious worker
Similarly, special categories of family exist when attempting to obtain a Green Card. They include:
• battered spouse or child
• K nonimmigrant
• V nonimmigrant
It is helpful to talk to an expert in order to see if you or a person you know qualifies for any of these special categories. There are often many questions at the beginning of the LPR process.
Even after one has been granted a green card, he or she may have various questions. For example, some people may not know that it is possible to renew or replace a green card by filing a Form I-90 online or on paper, or that is also possible to remove conditions on a green card, and travel outside of the United States with a green card.
There are also various rights that the card holder has and responsibilities the card holder should adhere to. As mentioned before, it is always best to talk to a trained professional about any questions your or someone you know might have.
As you can see, becoming a legal permanent resident is a complicated process, but it offers many benefits. It is important to have effective, professional, expertise in your corner in order to make the legal permanent residents process have the best opportunity for success.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation please contact Misiti Global, PLLC by Nicklaus Misiti at (212) 537-4407 or by filling out the convenient form on our website www.misitiglobal.com.