A Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”), also known as a “Green Card” holder, is the status conferred on someone who wishes to make the United States their permanent home and meets the various requirements, discussed below and throughout this website. It is a necessary first step in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. We have processed hundreds of these types of applications for our clients. There are only four (4) ways to obtaining LPR status in the United States. You may obtain LPR status by:
- Having a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident sponsor you (see Family and Fiance Visas)
- Obtaining a Labor Certification (see Labor Certifications). It is important to note that if someone filed either a family-based application or labor certification I-140 application on your behalf prior to April 30, 2001, you may still qualify for the amnesty that was in effect until that time.
- Obtaining LPR status by winning the diversity lottery or through a substantial business investment in the U.S. (usually $1 million).
- Obtaining asylum (see Asylum).
If, however, you are interested in coming to the U.S. temporarily, then the Non-Immigrant visas would be more suitable (see Non-Immigrant Visas).
When you obtain LPR status, you are entitled to reside and work in the United States indefinitely. Once you obtain LPR status, however, you should seek citizenship because citizenship has additional advantages. For instance, a LPR can be deemed to “abandon” their legal permanent residency if they leave the country for more than six (6) months (see, Advance Parole). Other concerns are whether a LPR may have committed any type of crime, whether misdemeanor or felony, for which they may be removed or deported from the U.S. (for more information on deportation, go to www.chicagodeportatiolawyer.com).