How To Get a Green Card

  • POSTED: August 16, 2012
  • POSTED BY: LawrenceGruner

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Little known secrets of fiancé visa and green card interviews from an attorney with 20 years of experience

Many people call our offices and ask: How do I get a green card?  This is a great question.  There are many different ways to get a green card.  We will go over the basic ways to get a green card (which include through family, work, and asylum).  However, there are other ways, which are beyond the scope of this article, which would allow you to obtain a green card.  It is recommended that you view the links below to the USCIS website to review the other possible ways to obtain a green card.  After you have visited their site please feel free to contact our office.  We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the green card process.

Green cards are a bit like the golden ticket in the story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Instead of bestowing the ticket holder a tour of a magical candy factory and a lifetime supply of chocolate, the green card provides the right to live and work in the United States, be protected under U.S. laws, and re-enter the U.S. 

As a green card holder you will also be able to file certain petitions with USCIS for loved ones.  However, you will not be able to file  petitions for the same types of loved ones you would be able to file if you were a U.S. Citizen. (For example only a U.S. citizen can file a K-1 fiancee visa petition for their fiance.)  You will have the ability to file petitions for more loved ones when you become a U.S. citizen

The three most common ways to get a green card are through:

  • Family Members
  • Employers
  • Requests for Political Asylum or as a Refugee

If you want to come to the United States or bring a loved one, employee, or refugee to the U.S., this article was written for you.  In this article, we’ll:

  • Nutshell how to get a green card as a family member (including fiancés), employer, or refugee.

  Explain our 5-part guarantee in case you would benefit from the assistance from a qualified immigration attorney. 

 How to Get a Green Card through a Family Member in a Nutshell

A U.S. citizen can apply to bring a family member to the U.S. or to bring a fiancé to the U.S. 

  • A family member may be a spouse, parent, or child (unmarried and under the age of 21).  Other relatives may qualify for a green card as well.

            If the relative is already in the U.S., this is the process you would go through in order to obtain a green card:


  • The Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) must be filed by the family member, requesting permanent residence status (i.e. green card).


  • At the same time, the Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) must be filed by the U.S. citizen family member.  In addition, there are other supplemental forms which must be completed and filed.


  • If the relative is not in the U.S., he or she goes through consular processing outside of the United States and the Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) is filed. 


  • Once your relative has entered the  United States he or she will  become a green card holder.

To bring a fiancé to the U.S, the U.S. citizen must file the I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé (K-1 visa petition) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  For more details on how to bring your fiancé to the U.S. click on this link:  “How to get a K-1 Fiancé Visa”.


How to Get a Green Card Through an Employer in a Nutshell

If you are highly educated and trained in a specialty occupation and a U.S. employer wants to hire you, the employer will apply for an H-1B visa (Specialty Occupations Visa) on your behalf.  If this is your situation please contact our office so we can see if you will qualify. 

There are also other ways to get green cards, including, but not limited to, through work and investment in the United States which are beyond the scope of this article.  Also., you may obtain a green card through self petition or through a special category of jobs (you may wish to visit the USCIS website to see how to get a green card through special categories of jobs.)  Again, these categories are beyond the scope of this article.  However, we would be happy to talk to you, free of charge, about your options 888-801-6558

How to Get a Green Card Through Political Asylum or as a Refugee in a Nutshell

If your political beliefs, race, religion, nationality, or social group put you in danger of returning to your country of citizensip you may seek asylum in the United States.  One year after you are granted asylum in the United States or enter the United States as a Refugee you can apply for a green card by filing the Form I-485, Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.


USCIS also has a catch all list of other ways to get a green card.  You should review this information. We would be happy to talk to you about these options as well.

 Where to Get Help Getting a Green Card? We have given you, in a nutshell,  the process for getting a green card to live, work, re-enter, and legal enjoy protections in the United States.  However, we understand that even with this information and the educational information provided on our site and the USCIS site, the process remains complicated. Just one mistake may prevent your family from being together or keep you from the life you want. Because we believe in bringing families together and that foreign nationals contribute to our American society, we offer a 5-part guarantee. 

  • First, you are entitled to a free consultation wherein you can get your questions answered and find out if you qualify for a green card. 


  • Second, if we take your case and we are unable to get you, your loved one, or your employee a green card, you pay no legal fees. 


  • Third, we will do all the legal work to bring children to the U.S. free of charge with a parent.


  • Fourth, we will offer you a flat fee for legal services so there are no surprises.  You know exactly what you’ll pay upfront and before you hire us. 


  • Fifth, we offer no interest monthly  payment plans.


While the green card itself is just a small green card, laminated with a photo, its benefits are huge – it truly is a golden ticket. It will allow you to live and work in the United States. The United States believes in family unity and that people from all cultures contribute to and benefit our society. 

If you would like a green card or to help someone get a green card, our experienced and qualified immigration lawyers can help.  Your next step is to contact our immigration attorneys to get green card process started.  Call us at (888) 801-6558 now.  We can help you get going in the right direction.

The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. Laws can and do change and additional laws may apply in your case. Contrary to what your friends tell you every immigration case is different. Please contact our office to review your matter prior to filing any documentation with USCIS

Lawrence Gruner is a green card Immigration Lawyer  , experienced fiance visa attorney, and fiancee visa lawyer with almost 20 years of experience handling immigration cases. He has office locations throughout northern California. His office handles immigration cases throughout California (including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Sacramento) the United States and the World. You may reach us from anywhere in the world toll free at 888-801-6558 . You may also email us your questions. Attorney Gruner would be happy to review your situation and all of your options. He can help you come up with a plan for your Immigration case. His office handles green card cases (both family based green cards and business based green cards K1 fiance visa cases (see our article 10 things to know about K1 visas), naturalization and citizenship cases, E1-E2 investor cases, H1b cases ( visit our blog: How to get an H1b visa)and marriage visa cases.

We handle cases throughout the state of California and the World. California cities include: Sacramento, Stockton, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Daly City, Fremont, Hayward, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Richmond, Fairfield, Grass Valley, Nevada City,Vallejo, Berkeley, Concord, Walnut Creek, Orinda, South San Francisco, San Bruno,Daly City, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Brisbane, Burlingame, Hillsborough, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Yuba City, Santa Cruz, Modesto, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Coronado, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Roseville, Rocklin,Auburn, Dixon, Davis. We also have clients in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Reno, Denver, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago.



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