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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jul 24, 2015

Although they’re not actually green anymore, the holder of a green card is deemed a lawful permanent resident who is entitled to immigration benefits. This means that you can reside and take employment in the United States. As it now stands, the correct procedure for becoming a permanent resident of the United States is as follows.

Steps for Adjusting your Status
1. Determine Your Eligibility to Immigrate
The federal laws stated in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) stipulate that a person may obtain permanent resident status in the United States in the following ways:

  • immigration through a family member
  • immigration through employment
  • immigration through investment (from 0.5 to 1 million US dollars)
  • immigration through the Diversity Lottery
  • immigration through Refugee or Asylum status
  • immigration through “The Registry” provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • immigration approved by the Director of Central Intelligence

2. File the Immigrant Petition

In most cases, you’ll need someone to file an immigration petition on your behalf. You may be able to file your petition and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence) at the same time, depending on the category under which your case falls. Most, however, require the petition to be approved before Form I-485 can be filed.

3. Check Visa Availability

If there is an immediate visa available in your category, you can file Form I-485. Once you’ve done so, you can check processing times by going to egov.uscis.gov.

4. Go to your Application Support Center appointment (fingerprints)

After you file your application, you will be notified to appear at an Application Support Center. This is where you’ll have your picture taken and be fingerprinted.

5. Go to your interview (if applicable)

You may be notified of the date, time, and location for an interview at a USCIS office to answer questions under oath or affirmation regarding your application. You must attend all interviews when you receive a notice. Not all applications require an interview. USCIS officials will review your case to determine if it meets one of the exceptions.

6. Get your final decision in the mail

In all cases, you will receive the decision in writing from the USCIS.
Immigration cases can often be long and complex. An immigration attorney who is familiar with the process can help you prepare and take the correct steps towards adjusting your status. If you’re about to apply for a green card, speak to an experienced immigration attorney today.