An Overview of Green Card Eligibility
Immigration attorney Christopher Stender works as a partner at a law firm based in San Diego, California. Among Christopher Stender’s areas of expertise are legal issues related to green cards.
A green card identifies its holder as a permanent resident of the United States. It lets the holder enter and exit the country and work in the country legally. Having a green card also allows one to apply for citizenship. However, before beginning the process of obtaining a green card, an individual should make sure that he or she is eligible.
A spouse of a United States citizen is eligible for a green card, as are individuals under age 21 who have a parent who is a United States citizen. Other eligible individuals are parents who have a child who is a United States citizen and is at least 21 years of age. Stepchildren, stepparents, and adopted children may also be eligible for a green card under certain circumstances.
Other individuals may have the opportunity to apply for a green card if their family circumstances place them in one of four preference categories. While a green card for these individuals is not guaranteed, it is a possibility. Since the process of obtaining a green card for those in preference categories is “first come, first served,” the earlier in the year one applies, the better the chances.