Who Is Eligible for a Green Card in 2023?
In today’s political climate, it’s no secret that immigration laws in the United States are as complex and evolving as ever. However, seeking lawful U.S. residence can be daunting and time-consuming, especially for families who traveled great distances and/or fled great danger to arrive in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are numerous paths to obtain safety and lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the U.S. “Lawful permanent resident status” is synonymous with the green card process. Essentially, the successful attainment of a green card through USCIS permits noncitizens to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis.
In this blog, we’ll review current green card eligibility requirements and additional legal processes required by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. in 2023.
7 Ways to Obtain a Green Card in 2023
Although there are various forms of and paths to U.S. citizenship, obtaining a green card entails complex legal processes that can easily overwhelm immigrants and their loved ones who are simply seeking a better life.
The path to obtaining lawful permanent residence can vary based on individual circumstances and eligibility. While there are many benefits to becoming a green card holder, it’s necessary to first understand who is eligible for lawful permanent resident status and what steps are required to obtain a green card.
Below are 7 ways to obtain a green card in 2023:
1. Family-Based Green Cards
One of the most common ways to obtain a green card is through family sponsorship. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can sponsor certain family members for a green card. Immediate relatives, such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years old, have priority in this category. Other family members, including siblings and married children, may also be eligible, but there may be longer waiting periods.
2. Employment-Based Green Cards
For those with highly sought-after skills and job offers in the United States, an employment-based green card may be an option. There are five preference categories, each with its own requirements and annual quotas. These categories include individuals with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors or researchers, multinational executives or managers, professionals holding advanced degrees, and skilled workers in shortage occupations.
3. Green Cards for Special Immigrants
Special immigrants, including religious workers, employees of international organizations, and certain juveniles under the custody of a U.S. juvenile court, may be eligible for a green card. This category is designed to accommodate individuals who contribute to U.S. society in unique ways or have specific needs.
4. Green Cards for Asylees & Refugees
Individuals who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States may be eligible for a green card after meeting certain criteria. Asylees must have been physically present in the United States for at least one year, while refugees are eligible to apply for a green card after one year of being admitted to the country as a refugee.
5. Green Cards for Human Trafficking & Crime Victims
Victims of human trafficking or certain crimes who have cooperated with law enforcement may qualify for a green card under the T-Nonimmigrant Status (T-Visa) or U-Nonimmigrant Status (U-Visa) programs. These visas provide protection and a pathway to permanent residence for those who have been victims of severe abuse.
6. Green Cards for Victims of Abuse
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or other forms of abuse may be eligible for a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This provision allows eligible individuals, including spouses and children of abusive U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, to self-petition for a green card without relying on their abuser.
7. Additional Ways to Get a Green Card in Florida
In addition to the legal recourses above, there are additional paths that immigrants can take to obtain a green card, including:
- Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)
- Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
- Cuban Adjustment Act
- Dependent Status Under the HRIFA
- Lautenberg Parolee
- Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000
- American Indian Born in Canada
- Born in the U.S. to Foreign Diplomat
- Section 13 (Diplomat)
These categories can offer needed opportunities for immigrants to obtain a green card through means aside from the ones listed above. For example, the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF) program allows certain Liberian nationals and their family members to apply for a green card so long as they’ve been in the U.S. since November 20, 2014. Similarly, the Cuban Adjustment Act provides a pathway to permanent residence for Cuban nationals or citizens who meet specific requirements.
It's important to note that eligibility requirements and application processes for obtaining a green card are complex and subject to change. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is nonnegotiable to ensure a thorough understanding of your legal options and navigate the process as efficiently, affordably, and effectively as possible.
Zealous Advocacy for Immigrants in Miami
Our seasoned advocates at Hubbs Law, P.A. have extensive experience representing Florida immigrants in a wide range of immigration disputes. Whether you’re defending against removal orders or applying for naturalization, our accomplished attorneys have the in-depth legal knowledge and skillset to advocate on your behalf and fight tirelessly for the just outcome you deserve in court. Reach out to our office to learn how our Miami lawyers can help you navigate the immigration matter you’re facing.
If you’re facing a legal dispute as a Florida immigrant, securing trusted representation is crucial. Call (305) 570-4802 to schedule a free consultation.