Over the last few years, immigration regulations have been changing rapidly by the Department of Justice, the department of the federal government that oversees immigration.
It’s important to keep up to date with the changing landscape of the law, whether you are in the process of applying for a green card or you are currently a green card holder, especially if you are scheduled to renew your green card in the near future.
If you are having trouble understanding current laws and processes, or need help and assistance with obtaining a green card in or around Nashville, TN, give the team at Colavecchio and Colavecchio a call today.
Our team is passionate about helping individuals just like you navigate the tricky waters of obtaining a green card and can provide the legal assistance you need today.
What is a Green Card?
A “green card” is another name for a Permanent Resident card, nicknamed so because a Permanent Resident card is green.
Most people visiting the United States enter the border with a visa stamped into their passport. Visas allow you to enter the US for a period of time to visit or study in the United States. However, a permanent resident card allows you to live and work in the country permanently and requires you to renew your permanent residency status every 10 years.
Who is eligible for a Green Card?
There are several categories for people to be considered when they seek to become a United States permanent resident:
- Familial Relationships
- Special Immigrant
- Refugee or Asylum Seeker
- Survivors of Human Trafficking, Abuse, and Crimes
- Additional Categories
Spouses, future spouses, and relatives qualify for permanent residency status and make these family members eligible for their own green cards. The following people are eligible to apply for a family preference green card.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are considered to be spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of a citizen that is at least 21-years-old.
Other relatives of U.S. citizens that are eligible for green cards include:
- Unmarried children that are 21 years or older
- Married sons or daughters; or
- Siblings of a citizen that is at least 21 years old.
- Additionally, fiancé(e)s and their children that have entered the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa are eligible for permanent residency status once the marriage has taken place.
Are you a lawful permanent resident? Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 or married sons and daughters 21 years or older are eligible to apply for their green card.
Did your U.S. citizen spouse die? You’re still eligible for a green card as a widow or widower, as long as you were married to your spouse at the time of their death.
Even at their most basic, navigating through the process, providing forms, and obtaining the right documents to obtain a green card can be extremely complicated. In the surrounding Nashville area? Colavecchio and Colavecchio are here to help you and your family to uncomplicate the complicated process and make sure you get your documentation processed for your family members through the U.S. Immigration system as quickly as possible.
Immigrant workers are eligible for permanent residency.
The first preference of eligibility for an immigrant worker falls to those that either have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; or is a multinational manager or executive that meets certain criteria.
Skilled and unskilled workers, as well as immigrant investors, are also eligible for a green card under the employment eligibility criteria. Colavecchio and Colavecchio, is happy to help those of you in the surrounding Nashville, TN area determine your qualifications under the employment guidelines.
Special Immigrant Status
- Special immigrant status covers a variety of people across many subsets of the population.Those individuals that qualify for a green card as special immigrants include:
- Religious workers
- Special immigrant juveniles or those children that have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by their parents
- Afghanistan or Iraq nationals that translated for individuals in the U.S. government, were employed for at least one year by or for the U.S. government on or after the invasion of Iraq, or were employed by the International Security Assistance Force
- International broadcasters; or
- Employees and family members of employees working on behalf of international organizations.Even special immigrants need special attention to make sure their forms are prepared properly and to make sure there are no surprises as
Refugees or Asylum Seekers
Refugees or asylum seekers are eligible to apply for a green card one year after they were granted refugee or asylum status.
Every day there are new changes that refugees and asylum seekers must keep informed to ensure they comply with current U.S. immigration law. Colavecchio and Colavecchio in Nashville, TN keep up to date with the changing landscape of the law as refugees and asylum seekers face a greater hardship than ever before in gaining their green cards.
Survivors of Human Trafficking, Abuse, or Crime
The abused spouse, parent, or child that is unmarried and under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a green card under the VAWA self-petitioner, victim of battery or extreme cruelty statute.
Human trafficking survivors are eligible to apply for a green card as long as they currently have a T nonimmigrant visa and crime victims are also eligible as long as they have a current U nonimmigrant visa.
Victims should not be further victimized by the immigration laws in this country. Colavecchio and Colavecchio attorneys are proud to provide compassionate care as they work to ensure that survivors of abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes get their permanent residency status.
Many additional people are eligible for permanent residency under miscellaneous categories like diversity immigrant visa program, the Cuban adjustment act, are a diplomat or a person born to a foreign diplomat who was stationed in the U.S. when you were born.
Colavecchio and Colavecchio will exhaust all possibilities and explain to you the process through which you qualify for a green card.
What to Do After You Qualify For Your Green Card
After you receive you become a permanent resident, you are protected by all local, state, and federal laws and have the right to work in the United States. However, you can still be deported if you commit a crime or action that falls under deportable offenses under immigration law.
As a permanent resident, you are also required to submit tax returns and report your income and, if you’re male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register with the Selective Service.
The changes the federal government are making as they accept fewer immigrants into our country mean that experienced attorneys, like the lawyers at Colavecchio and Colavecchio, are essential to maneuvering through the challenges of rapidly changing regulations to ensure that you are granted permanent residency status and that you are eligible to continue to renew your status every 10 years.
Green Card Assistance you can Count on
If you’re in or around Nashville, TN area, and are in need of assistance obtaining your green card, please contact us today. Our team of compassionate legal professionals has the experience you need and can provide the help you and your family deserve.