Orange County Green Card Attorney
Obtain Lawful Permanent Residence with a Trusted Immigration Firm
In the United States of America, a card granting the holder lawful permanent residence is often referred to as a "green card" (technically known as the I-551) because it gives that individual the "green light" to stay in the country and to pursue naturalization and citizenship if they desire, as well as because the first versions of these cards were mostly green in color. At Yekrangi & Associates, our immigration attorneys want to be a part of this momentous step on your journey to fulfilling your American dream. Your immigration story is important to us. If you have a complex matter involving green cards, do not hesitate to reach out to a green card lawyer in Irvine!
Contact Yekrangi & Associates online or call (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation. Our green card lawyers serve Orange County and are ready to help! Se habla Español. Services also available in Farsi and Mandarin.
Who Can Apply for a Green Card?
Not everyone is eligible for a green card. You may qualify to pursue permanent residency if you fall under one of several specific categories. For example, if you have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and he or she will sponsor you, then you are eligible for a green card.
With certain limitations and restrictions, "immediate family members" include:
- Husbands and wives
- Fiancés and fiancées
- Children, including adopted children
- Mothers and fathers
- Stepmothers and stepfathers
Relatives who are not "immediate" may still sponsor you in many situations, but these cases will not receive the same level of priority treatment as applications for immediate family members. If you have a family member who is applying, reach out to our experienced Irvine green card attorneys for guidance today.
- How Do I Get a Green Card Through Marriage?
- I came with a visa and married a citizen, can I get a green card?
Other Ways to Obtain a Green Card
You can also pursue a green card through employment-based immigration. Every year, the United States government allows 140,000 green cards to be issued to foreign nationals who desire to work in this country. Usually, you must have the sponsorship of an employer or prospective employer in the United States in order to successfully apply for a green card on an employment basis.
Other opportunities for obtaining a green card include but are not limited to:
- Winning the ethnic diversity visa lottery
- Qualifying for refuge/asylum based on persecution in your native country
- Demonstrating long-time residency in the United States
- Receiving amnesty because of certain criteria
If you are seeking permanent residency in the U.S. our green card lawyer in Irvine can help. Contact us today to understand what your options are.
Benefits of Obtaining a Green Card
Obtaining a green card, or lawful permanent residence, offers a range of benefits for individuals and families looking to establish a long-term presence in the United States.
Here are some of the advantages of obtaining a green card:
- Work and live permanently: With a green card, you have the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely, providing stability and security for you and your family.
- Access to government benefits: Green card holders are eligible for certain government benefits, including healthcare, social security, and educational opportunities.
- Travel flexibility: A green card allows you to travel in and out of the United States without the need for a visa, making it easier to visit family, explore new destinations, and maintain connections abroad.
- Path to citizenship: Green card holders may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, opening up even more opportunities and privileges.
- Protection from deportation: Having a green card provides legal protection from deportation, giving you peace of mind and the ability to build a future in the United States.
At Yekrangi & Associates, our experienced green card attorneys can guide you through the application process and help you understand the requirements and options available to you.
How Can I Get a Green Card for Employment?
An employment-based green card allows immigrants to legally live and work in the United States for an extended period of time. The application process is complex and each employment circumstance is different. Having a skilled Orange County green card attorney to assist you with your employment-based green card application is critical to ensuring that the case progresses smoothly.
Depending on the priority date of your I-140 Petition, the following documentation must be submitted with the application to begin the process:
- (USCIS) form I-485.
- Government-issued photo identification
- Copy of birth certificate
- Required employment records
- Vaccination records
- Documentation for spouse and children who may also be seeking residency
Once the application is submitted, USCIS officials will review the documentation and schedule an interview. During the interview, the applicant will be asked specific questions regarding their application and the reasons they wish to live and work in the United States. Applicants are permitted to have an attorney present during the interview.
Seeking a green card through an employer? Dial (949) 478-4963 to speak with an Irvine green card attorney.
When Are Green Cards Issued?
Green cards are issued after an adjustment of status if inside the United States or through a US Embassy if you reside outside of the United States. The most common way individuals receive green cards or permanent residency is through marriage, or other family members, followed by an employment-based petition, the granting of asylum, or an EB-5 investor "visa".
Marriage-based green cards are generally no different than employment-based green cards, although marriage-based green cards are conditional for two years. At two years, the beneficiary of the conditional green card must file to lift the conditions of their green card.
How Long Does a Green Card Last?
Being granted a green card is not the same as obtaining permanent residency. A green card is only valid for 10 years after it is first issued. You must file for renewal when your green card is within six months of expiring or is currently expired. However, green cards issued because of marriage are conditional and only last two years. After two years, you can request permanent residency.
How Do I Renew My Green Card?
If you are a lawful permanent resident and your green card is set to expire within the next six months, it's time to request a renewal. In order to renew or replace your green card, you must complete the following steps:
- Fill out a renewal application (Form I-90) either online or by mail.
- Submit necessary supporting documents.
- Pay any applicable government fees.
If you are a conditional resident seeking to remove the conditions on your employment-based green card, you will need to submit Form I-829 in order to renew your green card.
How Long Does It Take To Renew a Green Card?
It takes approximately 8 to 12 months to receive a green card after you have completed the biometrics appointment at your local Application Support Center (ASC). USCIS will mail your new green card to the United States address you put on your application. If you do not have an address in the U.S. yet, the card will be sent to the port of entry listed on your application. If your application was denied, you will receive notice in the mail.
How Much Does It Cost to Renew a Green Card?
The cost to replace or renew a green card with USCIS is $540. This covers the application fee and biometrics fee. You may pay additional costs if you hire an attorney to process the application for you. Most attorneys charge between $250 and $350 to handle a green card renewal.
How to Change Address on Green Card
To change your address on your green card, you have a few options:
- Online: If you have an online account with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you can change your address through your account. Visit the USCIS website and log in to your account to update your address.
- Paper Form: Another option is to fill out and submit a paper form called AR-11, Alien's Change of Address Card. You can find this form on the official USCIS website. Once completed, you can either submit it electronically or mail it to the USCIS.
- Phone: U.S. citizens can also report a change of address by calling USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. However, non-citizens are still required to file the AR-11 form.
Remember, it is important to notify USCIS of any change in address within 10 days of moving. This ensures that your green card information is up to date.
Can You Apply For Citizenship with an Expired Green Card?
Green cards typically have a 10-year validity period, and it is crucial for holders to renew them before they expire. However, if your green card has expired and you're considering applying for U.S. citizenship, you may be wondering about the implications of having an expired green card on your naturalization process.
While an expired green card does not automatically disqualify you from applying for U.S. citizenship, it can have some implications on the process. Here's what you need to know:
- Eligibility Requirements: To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must meet certain eligibility criteria, including continuous residence and physical presence in the U.S. Having an expired green card does not affect your eligibility, as long as you can demonstrate that you meet these requirements.
- Proof of Lawful Permanent Residence: Your green card serves as proof of your lawful permanent residence in the United States. When you apply for U.S. citizenship, you will be required to provide evidence of your status as a permanent resident. While an expired green card is not invalid as proof of your legal status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may request that you renew your green card before proceeding with your naturalization application.
- Renewing Your Green Card: USCIS recommends that green card holders apply for a renewal of their green card at least six months before it expires. Failing to renew your green card in a timely manner could result in complications during the naturalization process. It's crucial to maintain valid immigration documents throughout your journey to U.S. citizenship.
- Travel Considerations: An expired green card may also affect your ability to travel internationally. If you plan to travel outside of the United States, it's advisable to have a valid green card or apply for a travel document (re-entry permit) to avoid any potential issues upon your return.
- Consult an Immigration Attorney: If you are uncertain about the status of your green card or how it may impact your naturalization application, it's wise to consult with an immigration attorney. They can provide guidance on the best course of action based on your individual circumstances.
Call Yekrangi & Associates for a Consultation!
Our Irvine green card attorneys can help you achieve your immigration goals. Unlike other firms, we ensure that our clients receive one-on-one services directly from Attorney Ashkan Yekrangi. With a commitment to the best interests of our clients and to immediate, accessible communication, Yekrangi & Associates is the firm you want on your side if you are pursuing a lawful permanent residency in Orange County, California. We provide one-on-one legal counsel that few firms can offer.
Other Green Card Blogs
EB-4 Broadcaster Visa — A Path to Permanent Residency in the U.S.
- Legal Permanent Residence,
H1B — No Cap For Specific Doctors
- H-1B Visa,
H1B Visa Transfers for Educators
- H-1B Visa,
My Spouse is on a J-1 Visa. Can I Work in the U.S.?
How to Do an H-1B Transfer
- H-1B Visa,
H1B Visa for Teachers
- H-1B Visa,