Green Card (Permanent Resident)

A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Our experienced Immigration Lawyers in Manhattan at Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC have handed thousands of Green Card applications through Family, Green Card through a Job, and Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status and other ways to Get a Green Card. The focus of our Immigration Lawyers in Manhattan is to help our non-immigrant and immigrant clients to find real solutions to any immigration situation they may have whether they are currently in the United States or abroad.

What You Should Know About Green Card Through Family-based Immigration

To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizens:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21
  • Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)

Immediate Relatives (IR) have special immigration priority under the family-based category and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

If a persons’ relationship does not qualify you as an Immediate Relative of a U.S. citizen, then she or he may be in what is called a family-preference category.

Who Are Eligible For A Green Card Through A Family Preference Category?

  • Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21,
  • Married child(ren) of any age, and
  • Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. citizen petitioner is over the age of 21.)

Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available. The annual quota is published monthly by the U.S. Department of State.

What Are The Requirements Which A Sponsor Must Meet In Order To Sponsor A Family Member For A Green Card?

  • The sponsor must be a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident,
  • The sponsor must have a qualifying family relationship with the immigrating alien, and
  • The sponsor must prove that he or she can financially support the family member for whom s/he is petitioning at 125% above the mandated poverty guideline.

United States citizens and permanent residents can sponsor: husband or wife, unmarried child under 21 years old, unmarried son or daughter over 21 years old, married son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father, and parents.

* Note: Lawful Permanent Residents cannot file for their parents, married sons or daughters, or brothers and sisters.

Things To Keep In Mind About Green Card or Permanent Residence:

  • Turning 21 years of age. When an immediate relative child of a U.S. citizen reaches the 21 years of age, she or he generally will become a first preference (F1) category son or daughter (over 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen, and will no longer have a visa immediately available. This change may result in a significant delay an adjustment of status or visa processing because she or he will now need to wait for an immigrant visa number -under the category- to become available before an application can be filed.
  • Child Status Protection Act. In certain cases, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may allow a person to retain the classification of as a “child” even if she or he has reached the age of 21. Generally, the age is frozen as of the date the U.S. citizen parent files a petition for alien relative for the child.
  • Getting Married. If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she can no longer be classified as an Immediate Relative (IR) and will become a third preference (F3) category – married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen – and a visa number would no longer be immediately available.

Whether a person wants to sponsor a Family-based immigration, or a key Employee through Employment-based immigration, or apply for a Refugee or Asylee Status, the Immigration Lawyers in Manhattan at the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC can help and represent you. If you would like to schedule your personal and confidential consultation our experienced Manhattan Immigration Lawyers, please contact us at (212) 258-0713 or

(973)621-9300. We can help you.