For many individuals residing in the United States, obtaining a green card is a significant step towards establishing permanent residency and achieving their American dream. While the traditional path involves leaving the country for consular processing, there are alternative ways to acquire a green card without having to depart. In this article, we will explore five methods that allow individuals to obtain a green card while remaining within the United States.
One of the most common ways to obtain a green card without leaving the U.S. is through the process of adjustment of status. This option is available to individuals who are already present in the country on a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a student visa (F-1), work visa (H-1B), or fiancé visa (K-1). By meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as having an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or being eligible for employment-based sponsorship, applicants can submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjust their status and obtain a green card.
The second option applies to undocumented children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by their parents, the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provides a potential pathway to a green card. SIJS allows eligible children under the age of 21 to obtain lawful permanent residency if they receive a court order declaring them dependent on the state and find that it is not in their best interest to be returned to their home country. By demonstrating eligibility and going through the necessary legal processes, these children can obtain a green card within the U.S.
Third is the VAWA Self-Petition process. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows certain victims of domestic violence, who are married to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, to self-petition for a green card without the need for their abusive spouse's support. VAWA also extends protection to abused parents and children of U.S. citizens or green card holders. By gathering the required evidence and meeting the eligibility criteria, individuals can submit a VAWA self-petition to USCIS and initiate the green card application process while remaining within the United States.
A U Visa is the fourth method to get a green card without leaving the U.S. The U visa is designed for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful or willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If approved, U visa holders can obtain a green card after meeting specific requirements. This option provides a valuable opportunity for undocumented individuals who have been victimized to secure legal status in the U.S., without having to leave the country.
Asylum or Refugee Status is the fifth option for those who do not want to or cannot leave the U.S. for a green card interview. Individuals who fear persecution in their home countries due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
may be eligible for asylum or refugee status in the United States. Asylum seekers must apply for asylum within one year of their arrival in the U.S., while refugees are typically granted status before entering the country. If granted asylum or refugee status, individuals can eventually apply for a green card, allowing them to remain in the U.S. permanently.
While departing the U.S. for consular processing is the traditional route to obtaining a green card, it is not the only option. Through adjustment of status, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA self-petition, U visas, and asylum or refugee status, individuals can pursue permanent residency without leaving the country. As always, due to the complexity of this area of law, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney rather than trying to go through this process alone. Please contact us to schedule an appointment by calling 888-589-2228 or by using the following link: https://marvinlawoffice.com/schedule-a-consultation/