Michigan residents who are fearful that family members may have to leave once their visa has expired worry that the process for coming back may leave them stranded in another country for years. Finding other avenues to keep loved ones close can also lead to eventual citizenship.
The process for obtaining a Green Card is lengthy, but it does fulfill residency requirements that will allow a resident alien to stay in the country. The immigrant population in Michigan continues to grow, with 7% of residents who are immigrants and another 7% who have at least one immigrant parent. Over half the immigrants in the state are naturalized U.S. citizens.
A Green card is a type of visa allowing aliens to work, travel and live in the United
States within a specific time frame. A Green Card is essentially a permanent resident visa, and those who qualify may renew it periodically.
A nonresident alien may apply for a Green Card if they qualify as:
- A family member.
- An employee.
- A refugee or asylum seeker, or a victim of abuse or human trafficking.
- A recipient of diversity lottery.
- A continuous resident.
Once they receive a Green Card, they are taxed just as U.S. citizens, and have the privilege of residing permanently as an immigrant.
What family members are eligible?
Both immediate family and distant relatives may apply for a Green Card. Immediate relatives can include:
- Unmarried children under 21.
- Orphans that a U.S. citizen plans to adopt.
- Parents of adult U.S. citizens.
There are four Family Preference Immigrant categories:
- Unmarried children aged 21 or older of U.S. citizens.
- Spouses, children under 21and unmarried children over 21 of permanent residents.
- Married children of U.S. citizens.
- Siblings of U.S. citizens.
The process for establishing eligibility is lengthy and requires extensive documentation and timely filings of the correct forms. Getting more information first on how to apply on behalf of a loved one is critical to the success of the application.