With all the discussion surrounding legislative reform and undocumented immigrants, it’s easy to forget that most of the immigrants in the United States have permanent residency. In fact, the U.S. government estimates that there were approximately 12.6 million people with permanent residency in the country in 2010. That year, another 1 million people obtained permanent residency in the country. More than 12 million people applied.


Of course, any government program involves a great deal of paperwork, and the application process is complicated. That’s why so many hopeful applicants consult with immigration lawyers to optimize their applications and receive practical advice about the legal side of immigration. This guidance may prove invaluable for anyone competing with 12 million other people.

At O’Brien Law Group, we are proud to help immigrants in Louisville navigate through the green card program in the United States, and we work hard to give each of our clients the best possible chance at living and working in the country. Besides permanent residency, we help our clients with many other types of immigration, including H-1B, deportation and asylum. To learn more about our programs, call us at 502-400-7890.

1. Can I Adjust My Status From Asylum to Permanent Resident?

Yes. In fact, many immigrants apply for status adjustments each year. The Migration Policy Institute reports that in 2010, more than 40,000 asylees became lawful, permanent residents.

That same year, more than 90,000 refugees also made the transition. In both cases, applicants must wait one year after receiving either refugee status or asylum before applying for a green card.

2. I am the Widow of a U.S. Citizen. Can I Still Apply for Permanent Residency?

Yes. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allows both widows and widowers of U.S. citizens to apply for a green card as long as they were married at the time of the citizen’s death. However, there are some criteria used to determine eligibility; for instance, you must not be remarried when you apply for permanent residency.

Also, you must have been married for longer than two years, and you must file your application within two years of your spouse’s death. You’ll also need to file six or seven forms and provide documentation that proves your identity and that your marriage was legal.

3. Can I Still Travel After Obtaining Permanent Residency?

Permanent residents are allowed to take short trips outside of the country. However, if the government determines that you do not plan to make the United States your permanent home, it could revoke your status. This generally only happens if you remain outside of the country for longer than one year.

People applying for permanent residency will most likely have many questions regarding the process in general and how it applies to their specific situations. At O’Brien Law Group in Louisville, we are here to address all of your questions and concerns. Just call us at 502-400-7890..

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