Serving The Immigration Needs Of The San Diego Area Since 1984

United States green cards: How do I know if I’m eligible for one?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2015 | Citizenship

When it comes to immigration policies and procedures, everything can get a little confusing. This is particularly true for those who are not familiar with the system or processes needed to obtain certain documents. To help those in California hoping to achieve permanent residency status and/or citizenship, this week’s post is going to cover eligibility requirements specifically related to green cards.

Those seeking permanent residency may be eligible for a number of reasons. Some can apply due to family ties in the United States and some for employment purposes. Those in the country on refugee or asylum status or other provisions may also be eligible.

The family-based category is pretty straightforward. Parents, spouses or unmarried children — if under the age of 21 — of current U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive visas that will allow them to enter the country. Applications for green cards cannot be submitted until after a visa is granted.

Green cards for employment purposes may be a little more difficult to come by. Only a certain number of employment visas are granted every year, and the job type will determine where a person falls on a priority list for obtaining the necessary visa. Generally, a job offer is required to apply for a visa, and proof of employment is needed when applying for permanent residency.

Those applying for other purposes have requirements specific to their situation; however, applications for green cards typically need to be submitted one year after admittance to the United States. Those in California who have been granted entry can seek help in determining the category that best fits their circumstances, and in preparing all necessary applications and documents needed to gain permanent residency status. Though the process may be confusing, an immigration attorney can help make the experience flow as smoothly as possible and provide representation at every step along the way.

Source:, “Green Card Eligibility”, Accessed on April 6, 2015