How to Apply for a Green Card in Austin, Texas: A Complete Guide
If you are ready to become a lawful permanent resident, you should know how to apply for a green card in Austin, Texas. This complete guide provides everything you need to know to get started.
Apply for Green Card in Austin
The United States has long been considered a haven for those hoping to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones. In this regard, the green card application process is a critical step in establishing permanent residency in the U.S.
The green card is only made available to certain categories of people who meet specific eligibility requirements. Below are just a few of the possible eligibility criteria to obtain a green card:
- You have immediate relatives in the U.S.
- You have an upcoming job in the U.S. that meets certain requirements.
- You are among the special immigrant categories.
- You hold refugee or asylee status.
- You fall under a specific category of crime victims.
The green card application process has several steps. A green card applicant must follow the following guidelines to apply for a green card in Austin, TX:
- Ensure you are eligible.
- Get valid and correct forms to fill in your details.
- Book a biometrics appointment.
- Provide necessary documentation.
- Plan for an interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) representative.
- Wait for feedback on your application.
To attain permanent resident status and eventual citizenship in the U.S., you may benefit from the services of an experienced immigration lawyer who can help you apply for a green card. Working with an attorney eases the application process and enhances your chance of success. An attorney will help you get valid forms and documentation and prepare you for an upcoming interview.
Austin Green Card Renewal
Green card renewal depends on the circumstances under which your green card was issued. The time of stay allowed varies from two to ten years.
You should process your green card renewal at least six months before the card expires. Late renewal is allowed if the holder can give valid explanations.
Renewal is possible by submitting the required documentation to the immigration office. A green card holder may also seek the services of an experienced immigration attorney to help in processing the renewal.
How to Get a Green Card in Texas
Lawful permanent residency in the United States of America opens windows for opportunity and growth. After meeting eligibility requirements, lawful permanent residents can petition for naturalization.
To get a green card in Texas, you need to fit within the eligibility categories outlined by the Immigration and Nationality Act. To make the process less strenuous, you can work with an immigration attorney. Your attorney will handle the critical parts of filling forms and filing them for you.
An experienced immigration attorney can help you know what category best suits you. Usually, USCIS must receive an immigrant petition filed by a relative or employer. In other cases, you may file for a petition by yourself.
Green Card Through an Immediate Family Member or Relative
You may be eligible to apply for a green card if you have an immediate relative or family member who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, a spouse of a U. S citizen, or an abused relative of a U.S. citizen.
According to the USCIS, an immediate relative could be unmarried children below 21 years of age, spouses, or parents. Other relatives include adult children or married children and siblings.
Green Card Application as a Special Immigrant
Under the USCIS special immigrant program, an immigrant must file a petition which explains their circumstances. Juvenile court dependants, religious workers, and members of selected international organizations are eligible for special immigrant visas. A visa lawyer can help in getting visas for special immigrants.
Green Card for an Upcoming Job
Foreign professionals are occasionally eligible for green cards based on their occupation or achievements.
A green card does not work like a nonimmigrant or temporary visa, allowing international students and workers to access the U.S. job market. Instead, the USCIS gives priority to priority workers with extraordinary ability in arts, science, education, business, and athletics. Other foreign nationals who have acquired special skills fall into the low preference category.
Green Card Through Refugee or Asylee Status
Complex procedures are followed to receive the refugee or asylee status. You will go through various application processes and an immigration interview. After a year of assigned status, refugees and asylees can be lawful permanent residents.
Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
If you have suffered from human trafficking or other crimes, you can apply in this special category under the law. It is important to note that victims must own distinctive visas to be eligible for green card applications.
Human trafficking victims should have a T nonimmigrant visa while crime victims should have a U nonimmigrant visa. An Austin visa lawyer may assist you with obtaining visas in your classification.
Green Card for Victims of Abuse
Those who have suffered abuse by a family member or relative may be eligible for a green card. This eligibility category includes the VAWA(Victims Against Women Act) self-petitioners who may be qualified for a green card through the family category. VAWA self-petitioners fall in the category of the abused immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses and children.
Other categories of immigrants that fall under Victims of Abuse are special immigrant juveniles. According to the USCIS, juveniles named victims through the court system are those who have been abused and abandoned.
Green Card Through Registry
This is a special category only available for those living in the U.S. since January 1st, 1972. To meet the eligibility criteria, you should:
- Be living in the U.S. since January 1972
- Have an upstanding moral character
- Qualify for naturalization
- Not be banished from states
Green Card Through Other Categories
You can still possibly be a green card holder even if you do not match in any groups above. Beneficiaries of this category include diversity visas recipients. The U.S. has a diversity visa lottery program where 50,000 visas are issued every year. To be eligible for this program, applicants must be foreign nationals of countries with few immigrants.
Contact an Attorney at Our Immigration Office in Austin, TX
Immigrants who are unsure if they are eligible for a green card may get clarity by consulting an immigration law office in Austin, TX. Here, you will get an experienced immigration lawyer who will give you professional advice.
Our Austin, TX, immigration law office is well-versed in preparing immigration and naturalization applications and informing clients throughout the immigration process. Once we have established an attorney-client relationship, you can apply, replace, and renew visas and green cards with a competent naturalization & citizenship lawyer guiding you through the process.
Getting an immigrant visa is a complex process, but having the right legal counsel can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. If you are ready to apply for a green card in the Austin area, contact immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray today to get started.