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Video: Five Paths To Becoming A Lawful Permanent Resident


In This Video, Carlos Batara Explains Five Different Roads Leading To A Green Card And Lawful Permanent Resident Status

As an immigration attorney with offices in Riverside, Hemet, San Diego, Escondido, San Bernardino, I can attest that a large amount of our office services are directed at helping immigrants become lawful permanent residents.

Contrary to popular myth, there is no one-path-fits-all formula to a green card.

Rather, there are many different roads to earning lawful permanent resident status. Some involve going to immigration court hearings. Others only require an interview with a government official.

Hopefully, this short video on paths to green card success will help you learn more about the differences.

Direct Paths To Winning A Green Card

In some cases, you may need to acquire a temporary lawful status at first.  You might be able to later qualify for a green card and permanent residence status.

In other instances, you may be eligible for special county-specific programs like NACARA or the Cuban Adjustment Act.  You may seek to obtain benefits under humanitarian-type programs like asylum or temporary protected status.  Or you may be eligible under a program designed for victims of abuse, like the Violence Against Women Act, or victims of trafficking, like U and T visas.

You might qualify as a beneficiary under papers filed by a family member who is either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.  Perhaps you might qualify as a beneficiary under an employment relationship.

In general, these types of immigration benefits are sought without having to go to immigration court.  You are interviewed by an immigration officer at one of the government’s local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices.

But if you are in immigration court, facing deportation, your attorney should still evaluate if you qualify for green card status under these programs.

This direct route to becoming a permanent resident can be broken into three distinct types of petitions and applications:

Permanent Residence Through A Family Member

Permanent Residence Through Special Immigration Programs (NACARA, VAWA, TPS, Asylum)

Permanent Residence Through Employment Petitions

Winning A Green Card Though Immigration Court

It is usually much harder to win lawful permanent resident status at immigration court.  If you’re at immigration court, the government is trying to deport you.  Sometimes, you’re sent to immigration court because you tried one of the programs above but the immigration officer denied your application for immigration benefits.

At your deportation and removal defense hearing, you can still bring up your previous applications, even if an immigration officer denied them.  You may need to file a new copy of the same aplication and pay the filing fees over again.

If you win your case at immigration court, you end up with a green card.

If you lose, you need to file an immigration appeal.  If you win your appeal, then your case is returned back to the immigration court.  The judge is given instructions about what mistakes he made when he denied your case.

When this happens, you get another chance at winning your case in immigration court.  And if you win, you are now granted permanent resident status.





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