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.


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About Christopher Stender

After working for three years as Assistant Chief Counsel for the San Diego District of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Christopher Stender launched a law partnership in 1993. Initially known as Stender & Larkin, the firm was renamed Stender & Associates, PC. Christopher Stender and his team of bilingual associates provide comprehensive immigration-related legal services, working with individuals held at Arizona’s detention centers and prisons in Eloy and Florence, as well as at California’s detention centers in El Centro, San Diego, and San Pedro. Christopher Stender assists in bond procurement and payment, visitation and hearing scheduling, and detainee transportation. He is known for taking tough cases, promoting novel legal theories, and getting positive results for his clients. He routinely appears before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the First, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Prospective clients can read about the immigration process in both English and Spanish on his website. Christopher Stender spent his undergraduate years at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1990 from the Syracuse University College of Law. An East Coast native who lived abroad for two years, Christopher Stender has traveled extensively throughout Europe. In addition to his native English, he speaks German and Spanish. He supports Grace Point Church, Homeless Outreach, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Tijuana Schools Mission, and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. He lives with his wife and four children in San Diego.

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