, Green Card Basics



The term green card refers to permanent resident status in the United States, with a path towards citizenship. They’re sought after by people from all over the World that are seeking greater economic opportunity and/or to reunite with family members that are already in the United States. Even if you’re clearly eligible, the application must be properly submitted with all the required supporting documents in order to be successful. You must adhere to all the rules and regulations that apply for the specific type of green card you’re seeking. That’s why the best way to ensure the success of your application is to work with an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island green card attorney.

Types of Green Cards

There are four basic types of green cards available to immigrants with eligibility depending on individual circumstances:

  • Family based green cards are an option if you have close relatives such a spouse, a sibling, children or parents that are United States citizens or permanent residents.
  • Employment based green cards are available in some circumstances where a job is offered to you in the United States and your employer is willing to sponsor your green card.
  • Returning resident green cards can sometimes be obtained if you broke the rules by travelling outside the United States for more than one year, but only if you can prove that you were detained by circumstances beyond your control.
  • Diversity Visa green cards are issued by randomly selecting applicants that apply to the program from countries that have low immigration rates to the United States.

Every type of green card has stringent requirements that must be precisely fulfilled in order to be successful with your application. For example, some green card applicants must reside in a foreign country and apply from their home country. There are some exceptions that may allow you to apply from the United States, but there are other requirements that must be satisfied. Family based green cards require that your sponsoring family member is over the age of 21, has a permanent address and is able to prove that they are able to financially support you for a period of time after you arrive in the United States. For employment based green cards, you must prove that you have a job offer by submitting a signed and notarized contract with specific information about the employment offer. In addition, the employer must prove that their company can afford to pay your salary by providing financial statements to include with your application. You are not eligible for a green card if you ever overstayed a visa or have a criminal record, but there are exceptions that apply. If you’re serious about obtaining a green card, it’s important to work with an experienced Massachusetts and Rhode Island green card attorney that can help you choose the type of green card application that’s most likely to be successful, prepare it properly and ensure that it’s submitted in a timely manner with all the required documents.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Green Card?

It can take less than a year or more than a decade to obtain a green card, depending on the country you’re applying from and the type of green card you’re seeking. There are  countless forms to fill out and documents to manage in this multi-step process, and mistakes along the way can send you back to square one. That’s why working with a top Massachusetts and Rhode Island green card attorney that can help you choose the right type of green card and guide you through the process substantially increases your chance of success. The first step for family or employment based green cards is a petition filed with the United States government on your behalf. Immediate relative green cards are usually reviewed quickly, sometimes only taking a few months, but family preference green cards can take up to a decade to be approved, depending on annual quotas. Employment based green card timetables also fluctuate depending on annual quotas, which can fluctuate from year to year. Diversity green cards operate on a dependable timeline, usually taking about 1 1/2 years from start to finish.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Green Card Attorney

The process of obtaining a green card can be complicated and drawn out, but with the help of an experienced Massachusetts and United States of America green card attorney you can obtain your green card with a minimum of frustration. The Botelho Law Group offers a free consultation where you can discuss your eligibility and your options.

Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
Attorneys At Law

901 Eastern Ave.
Unit 2
Fall River, MA 02723
Office:  888-269-0688