Last Updated: 04.17.2022
Many people living in the United States without legal immigration status may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR) status, i.e., a “green card.”
If you are married to a US
citizen, are the parent of a United States citizen child over 21 years old or are a child under 21 years old of a United States citizen, you may qualify for permanent residency as an immediate relative. This means that you can apply for your green card in the United States – without having to travel abroad – even if you are not currently in valid immigration status.
To qualify for permanent residency as an immediate relative, you will need to prove that you entered the United States lawfully – with a visa or other documentation at a valid port of entry. You must also prove that you are not disqualified from permanent residency because of any criminal convictions, past immigration fraud, or national security concerns.
While your “green card” application is pending, you will qualify for employment authorization, i.e., a “work permit.” Not only will you be able to work legally in the United States, you will also be able to obtain a social security number and a Federally-compliant Maryland driver’s license.
The ability to apply for permanent residency as an immediate relative is a wonderful benefit that eligible non-citizens ought to take full advantage of, especially in today’s environment of heightened and draconian immigration enforcement. To help you navigate the process, consider scheduling a consultation with a trusted, experienced immigration attorney. Contact the Law Office of Eldridge, Nachtman & Crandell online or at (443) 559-4384 to learn more.