Green Card Lawful Permanent Residents

Orlando Green Card Lawyers

What Is a Green Card?

A green card allows someone who is not a U.S. citizen to have legal permanent residency in the United States. With a green card, you can live and work anywhere in the U.S. and continue the pathway to citizenship. To apply for a permanent residence within the U.S., you must submit Form I-485.

Once you gain legal permanent residence in the United States, you essentially have lifetime legal status in the country. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires you to renew your green card every 10 years. To renew your card, you must file Form I-90.

However, unlike with citizenship, you may lose your legal residency status if you:

  • Stay outside the United States for over 364 days and you do not have approval
  • Become a U.S. citizen
  • Give up your status by choice and fill out the correct forms
  • Commit a crime or violate immigration law and are ordered removed by an immigration judge

If you want to apply for a green card, contact our experienced green card attorneys in Maitland and Orlando to schedule a free in-person consultation.

Who Is Eligible for a Green Card?

There are several ways you may apply for a green card. Your eligibility depends on qualifying under the appropriate immigrant category.

You may apply under several categories:

  • Family and marriage based
  • Employment based
  • Green card as a special immigrant
  • Refugee or asylee status
  • Human trafficking and crime victims
  • Victims of abuse
  • Registry
  • Other category

Family-Based Green Cards

The most common way individuals obtain a green card is through immediate family. Foreign nationals in the United States may apply for lawful permanent resident status based on a family preference category. There are options to apply whether you are in the United States or outside. This is called “adjustment of status.”

Immediate relatives have different rules and immediate visas available upon filing. This includes a U.S. citizen spouse, parents of citizens (if the U.S. citizen is over 21 years of age), or children of citizens (under the age of 21 and unmarried).

Other family members are also eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence. They include:

  • First Preference (F1) – unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of U.S. citizens
  • Second Preference (F2A) – spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents
  • Second Preference (F2B) – unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of lawful permanent residents
  • Third Preference (F3) – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth Preference (F4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older)

Read more about marriage and fiancée visas here.

Employment-Based Green Cards

Multiple subcategories of workers are eligible to apply for permanent residence. Read more about green cards through employment here.

Humanitarian Green Cards

Refugees and Asylees

For information on asylum and refugee green cards, see here.

Human Trafficking Victims (T Visa)

As part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Act, Congress created the T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa). This status enables certain victims of a “severe form” of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to four years if they assisted law enforcement in an investigation of prosecution of human trafficking. Some family members of human trafficking victims are also eligible for benefits. Some recipients of T visas are eligible to apply for a green card.

According to federal law, “severe form of trafficking” includes:

  • Sex trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age; or
  • Labor trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Crime Victims (U Visa)

The U Nonimmigrant Visa allows foreign nationals who are victims of certain crimes to become permanent residents in the United States.

If you are the victim of certain crimes where you suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and are helpful to the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity, you may be eligible after you meet certain requirements.

Abuse victims

If you are a battered spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for a green card. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you may file a petition for an immigrant visa petition.

To self-petition, you must complete the Form I-360, submit evidence of the abuse and proof the abuser is a U.S. citizen, and file the form at the correct facility. If you have questions about eligibility, contact our office for a consultation.

Diversity Lottery Green Cards

Each year, the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) creates up to 50,000 visas for immigrants, which are drawn by random selection. The individuals in the lottery are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) administers the program.

Green Card through Registry

U.S. immigration law allows certain individuals the ability to apply for permanent residence if they have been in the country since January 1, 1972, even if unlawfully. If you qualify, you must file Form I-485. While your application is processing, you may apply for authorization to work in the United States.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • You entered the United States prior to Jan. 1, 1972
  • You have resided in the United States continuously since Jan. 1, 1972
  • You are a person of good moral character
  • You are not ineligible for naturalization (citizenship)
  • You are not removable (deportable) under Section 237(a)(4)(B) the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  • You are not inadmissible under Section 212(a)(3)(E) of the INA or as a criminal, procurer, or smuggler

Our Orlando green card attorneys offer services in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Call us today at (407) 512-9919 to request a free in-person consultation or paid consultation over the phone.

Attorneys

  • Henry  Lim, Esq. Photo
    Henry Lim, Esq.

    Founding Attorney

    Born in Nicaragua, Orlando immigration lawyer Henry Lim knows the immigrant experience firsthand. He knows how stressful the process can be. Because of this, Henry knows the value of an aggressive immigration attorney. He uses his skill and insight to work for you.
  • Rafael  Ortiz-Segura Photo
    Rafael Ortiz-Segura

    Of Counsel

    With 23 years of experience on the bench, former Immigration Judge Rafael Ortiz-Segura brings a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge to Lim Law, P.A. His time in Orlando immigration court makes him one of the most experienced professionals in immigration in all of Central Florida. Most immigration lawyers in Orlando have argued cases before him.
  • Henye S. Perez Photo
    Henye S. Perez

    Attorney

    Henye S. Perez has handled a multitude of cases involving complex immigration matters, ranging fro visa petitions to defending immigrants in removal proceedings. He has advocated for clients before U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration Customs & Enforcement, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review in immigration court. Mr. Perez graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2010. He then continued his studies at ...
  • Michelle  Villagran Photo
    Michelle Villagran

    Attorney

    Michelle Villagran joined the Lim Law, P.A. team in 2017. As the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, she has a personal understanding of the struggles individuals endure while navigating the American immigration system. Ms. Villagran graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010, where she received a bachelor's degree in Business Management. She later graduated from the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law. During her law school career, Ms. Villagran participated in the ...
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Testimonials

  • Margarett G., via Facebook

    Los recomiendo 100%.

  • Rosario L., via Facebook

    En las Oficinas de Lim Law,P.A Usted encontrará a los mejores Abogados de Inmigración.

  • Lily G., via Google

    Henye went the extra mile to explain things and answer all our questions.

  • Ariadna B., via Google

    La atención hasta el momentp ha sido muy buena, están atentos al caso

  • Giuliana P., via Google

    I truly recommend him to anyone trying to get their citizenship.

  • Julia B., via Facebook

    el mejor abogado felicitaciones.

  • Julie D., via Google

    Tienen la experiencia y la audacia para luchar por sus clientes.

  • Eduardo R., via Google

    Overall fantastic service, very professional and I would recommend Lim Law to anyone needing immigration services.

  • Antonietta M., via Google

    They were phenomenally awesome with great customer service and attention to detail to every concern or question you could have.

  • Elzem G., via Google

    Gracias a Henry Lim Law, a el Sr Pedro, a la sra. Nancy, y a Hennie Pérez Law por su colaboración y ayuda siempre en todo momento.

  • Marita S., via Facebook

    I’m such an extremely happy client and thrilled to now be living here in the States.

  • Robert A., via Google

    I would highly recommend Lim & Associates to anyone.

  • Mareen E., via Facebook

    They are wonderful. Great job!

  • Ana B., via Google

    Henry and his staff are amazing and very well verse in immigration law.

  • Ady G., via Google

    Muy prefecionales y siempre están para ti en las dudas o ayuda que tengas.

  • Diogenes Q., via Google

    A fantastic lawyer and great staff.

  • Gerardo L., via Google

    Excelente Profesional!

  • Billy D., via Facebook

    I've been in law for over 15 years and never seen such an advocate of rights as Henry Lim.

  • Ismael R., via Facebook

    Lim & Associates are great & honest people. They look for the best possible ways to help you & make everything much easier for you

  • Jennifer W., via Facebook

    Henry is an asset to the community, he is a superior leader and mentor.

  • M.A., via Google

    Exceptional customer service.

  • Giovanni C., via Google

    Altamente recomendado para todas aquellas personas que buscan una respuesta a su situación migratoria.

  • Lu K., via Google

    He was there through the whole process, provided detailed information about which documents my wife and I needed, what kind of photos and letters would be helpful, what kind of records and invoices we should have.

  • Debo, via Google

    Get an attorney, get a good attorney, get Lim & Associates. Do it right the first time!

  • Marina D., via Google

    Mr. Lim and all of his staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

  • Fiyen E., via Facebook

    El es uno de los abogados mas capacitado en asuntos de inmigracion.

  • Amy H., via Facebook

    Su excelencia,capacidad y humanidad lo caracterizan.

  • Stefan M., via Facebook

    If you are looking for someone who will handle your immigration issues with personal concern and a high degree of integrity, I would recommend this firm.

  • Martin L., via Google

    His staff is very friendly and everyone there strives to make sure any question or concern you may have gets answered.

  • Lisa S., via Google

    Mr. Lim was able to walk me through this very complicated process as easy as possible.

  • Rosario L., via Facebook

    En las Oficinas de Lim Law,P.A Usted encontrará a los mejores Abogados de Inmigración.

  • Alba F., via Facebook

    Reliable and trustworthy.

  • Margarett G., via Facebook

    Los recomiendo 100%.

  • Ivette R., via Facebook

    Excelente servicio muy profesionales contestan tus preguntas y te mantienen al tanto de cómo va tu caso.

  • Salvador S., via Facebook

    Y la abogada Michelle excelente profesional .Dios los bendiga.

    I'm very [pleased] w/the services I have got from Lim Law office.