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    ————————————————-   Green Cards   ————————————————


    A Permanent resident is an individual who was not born in the U.S. but has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. An individual can become a permanent resident by obtaining a Green Card several different ways.



    The process of obtaining Permanent Residency depends on a category and whether an individual is outside of the U.S. or in the U.S.

    If an applicant is physically present in the United States, he or she can apply for adjustment of status with USCIS to obtain permanent residency. Immediate relatives can file Immigrant Petition and Adjustment of Status Application simultaneously.

    If an applicant is outside of the U.S. then he or she should apply for “consular processing” at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident.





    Every applicant applying for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa  must prove that he or she is admissible to the United States.

    There are many grounds of inadmissibility that could potentially cause someone to be ineligible to become a permanent resident. The INA  §212(a) identifies a long list of grounds of inadmissibility. If the  issue the foreign national faces is not found in INA §212, then it’s not a ground of inadmissibility. Before the issue of admissibility or inadmissibility can be addressed, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she is eligible for visa classification. However, in many situations some waiver is available to the applicant.  The grounds of inadmissibility are determined by the particular category under which an individual is  immigrating.  If an immigrant is inadmissible for any reason listed in INA212(a) she should see if waivers are available. Immediate relatives are not exempted from grounds of inadmissibility under INA 212(a).


    Cleveland Immigration Lawyer         FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


    A :My case is in Administrative processing. Its more than 4 months after I was interviewed at U.S. Embassy. How long will it take?

    Q:  Unfortunately there is not a set timetable for “administrative processing” — it could be 30 days or less or a year or longer. It really depends on the reason for the administrative processing how long it will take — fraud, suspected criminal or terrorist ties, your name or birth date matching someone with serious problems, investigation on the authenticity of a document.  You or your attorney can always ask to speed up the review process.

    Q: My husband is a green card holder. I am a US citizen. We lived abroad for 16 months due to unemployment in the USA. Did he abandon his Permanent Residence?

    A: If your husband was outside the US for over one year, and does not have a Re-Entry Permit, he has abandoned his permanent resident status.   He needs to seek a returning resident visa at the consulate. If you are a US citizen, you need to apply for another green card for him.

    Q: Can I travel to Europe for Christmas and visit my family if I have a work permit, but in the process and waiting for the Green Card?

    A: Only if you have applied for and obtained an advance parole document (it’s on the reverse side of your employment authorization card). Just make sure you were not “out of status” for 6 months or more BEFORE having applied for your Green Card.

    Q: I’m green card holder for one year. I want to study abroad for five years and I plan to to come back here every year
    Does that affect my lawful status in US ?
    A:  Five years is a super-long time to be outside of the US. Get a re-entry permit (multiple ones will be needed) and  return  to the US for every break and try not to be outside of the US for more than 6 months on any one trip.