The U.S. government provides a path to citizenship for immigrants. However, they have to be in the U.S. legally. Someone who comes to this country on a visa must apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency is also know as the green card. This allows a person to live and work here, and travel in and out of the country. Green card holders cannot vote and can be deported if they break certain laws.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) gives out a limited number of green cards annually. Consult with an Immigration Lawyer Boca Raton FL about applying for a green card. Voloshen Law Firm P.C is an experienced immigration attorney. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are at the top of the list to receive green cards. Immediate relatives include:
- spouse of U.S. citizen
- unmarried people under 21 with at least one U.S. citizen parent
- parents of U.S. citizens, if the child is at least 21
- stepchild and stepparents of U.S. citizens
- adopted children of U.S. citizens, if the adoption occurred before the child reached age 21
140,000 green cards are offered each year to people whose job skills are needed in the U.S. Priority workers include people with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics. Also included are outstanding professors, researchers and employees of multi-national companies. Green card holders must wait five years before applying for naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
There are some other factors to consider, as well. For instance, the applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the five-year period. Additionally, applicants must have good moral character. Evidence of bad character includes not supporting his or her family and having extramarital affairs. Further, applicants must show a desire to be citizens. They must read, write and speak English.
There are exceptions for older immigrants and those with special needs. The Immigration and Naturalization Service gives the group of applicants a short civics exam. The exam consists of 10 of 25 published questions on U.S. History and Government. Applicants must answer 6 questions correctly. If you need help with an application, contact the Immigration Lawyer Boca Raton FL. Visit voloshenlaw.com for more information.