Acquiring Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status in the United States, also known as a Green Card, is a two-fold process. First, you must establish your basis to immigrate by preparing and filing an employment- or family-based immigrant petition with the USCIS. Once eligibility for permanent residence is established – by approval of the immigrant petition – you must file an application requesting LPR status. In this final stage of the process, the U.S. government evaluates applicability of the statutory health, criminal, security, or other grounds of inadmissibility that may prevent you from being granted a green card.
The timing of when you may pursue the final stage of the green card process is controlled by the approval of an immigrant visa petition and whether a green card is available to you, which is in turn, based on both:
- The immigrant visa classification for which the foreign worker is sponsored, and
- The foreign worker’s country of chargeability.
There are two methods of filing the final stage of green card processing, which leads to LPR status:
- Adjustment of Status (AOS) application
- Consular processing.
Both processes will require that you submit copies of biographical documents, undergo a medical examination and vaccinations, and appear for fingerprinting for security and background clearances.
If you are legally present in the U.S., you may elect to either adjust status or consular process. Our attorneys will explain the pros and cons of each process, considering your specific circumstances. If you are abroad, you may only use the consular processing method.