Living in the U.S. as an immigrant has provided plenty of opportunities for families. With the 11 million immigrants out of the 40 million total population, California has proven to be one of the states to find prosperity. That is why people want to get that elusive green card to enjoy the advantages of living permanently in the United States.
The city of Stockton in California is an example of a diversified population that is against discrimination. Stockton is firm when it comes to treating everyone fairly and equitably.
The city’s number one priority is building trust with diverse communities, especially with those who call Stockton their home.
With the help of a reliable immigration attorney stockton ca, the following are a few essential information you need for your green card application.
What are Your Rights and Obligations as a Green Card Holder?
A green card or permanent resident card is an identification card that signifies your rights when staying in the United States. It allows you to enjoy legal rights, such as:
- Stay indefinitely in the United States
- Study in your preferred school
- Work Where You Choose
- Protection by the Laws of the United States, Local, and the State of Residence
- Upon 18 years old, you can vote in the local and state elections
- Can petition his/her alien spouse or unmarried children. (Doesn’t include parents)
Given these rights, you have additional obligations such as:
- Obey all the laws of the United States and its localities
- File and Report Your Income Taxes
- Register for Selective Service if you are a male with age 18 to 25 years old
In rare cases, you will lose your green card status when you commit serious criminal activity, fraud, or abandonment from the country for a significant amount of time.
How Can You Get a Green Card?
There are many ways to change your immigration status from temporary to permanent. Here are the two most common:
You are an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen
It is the fastest way to get a green card. But this only applies to:
- Spouses of U.S. Citizens, including widows, widowers, same-sex partners as long as the marriage is valid in the state or the country it was held
- Unmarried children below 21 years old of at least one U.S. Citizen parent.
- Parents of U.S. Citizens when s/he is at least 21 years old
- Step Children and Stepparents provided the marriage happened when the U.S. citizen child is below 18 years old)
- Adopted Children of the U.S. Citizen provided s/he was adopted before 16 years old plus other conditions
An Employer Sponsors You
Some of the employers can grant a green card for their best immigrant employees. But this might take years because of the limited number per year. Also, particular job preferences take priority in getting one.
Also, there are other ways, such as:
- Other Family Members
- Green Card Lottery
- Refugee or Asylee
What are the Changes in Green Card Applications?
There are more proposed policy changes in the coming months. That is why it is best to get an immigration attorney in Stockton, CA to help you in your application.
It is important to note that the Trump administration is imposing stricter measures for green card applications. As of the moment, there is a requirement that a green card applicant can either:
(1) Afford health insurance within 30 days of their arrival in the U.S.
(2) Afford medical expenses.
And this does not include Medicaid or insurance bought with subsidies Affordable Care Act Exchange.