If you’re looking to make the United States your permanent home, obtaining a Permanent Resident (PR) status is a significant step in that direction. But not sure about getting PR in the USA, don’t worry we will help you! A PR status, also known as a Green Card, allows you to live and work in the US without any restrictions on the duration of your stay.
But, the process of obtaining a PR status can be complex and daunting, and it’s essential to understand the requirements and procedures involved. One of the significant benefits of having a PR status is that it grants you the right to work in the US and apply for US citizenship after a certain period. Furthermore, you can also travel in and out of the country without worrying about any immigration issues or restrictions.
Getting a PR status is challenging and time-consuming. The application process can take months or even years to complete. If you want to make the US your permanent home, this blog post will guide you through the PR status application process. It will also help you understand the rights and benefits that come with it.
How to get PR in the USA?
Obtaining permanent residency (PR) in the United States is a complex process that involves several steps. Here is the process of obtaining PR in the US for Indians:
- Determine eligibility
- File a petition
- Wait for approval
- Attend an interview
- Wait for a decision
- Renew your Green Card
Come along to understand each step mentioned above in depth.
Step 1: Determine eligibility
The first step in obtaining PR is to determine if you are eligible. There are several ways to obtain a Green Card. Including employment, family sponsorship, asylum, or through the Diversity Visa Lottery. Each method has its requirements, and it’s essential to ensure that you meet them before proceeding.
Step 2: File a petition
Once you determine your eligibility, you need to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The type of petition you file depends on your situation. For example, if you are seeking employment-based PR, your employer must file a petition on your behalf.
Step 3: Wait for approval
After filing your petition, you will need to wait for it to be approved. This process can take several months to years, depending on your situation and the type of petition you filed.
Step 4: Attend an interview
If your petition is approved, you will receive an invitation to attend an interview at a USCIS office. The interview aims to verify the information in your petition and confirm your eligibility.
Step 5: Wait for a decision
After your interview, you will need to wait for a decision on your PR application. If your application gets approved, you will receive your Green Card. And after which you can begin living and working in the US indefinitely.
Step 6: Renew your Green Card
PR status is not permanent and needs to be renewed every ten years. You can also lose your PR status if you commit certain crimes or violate immigration laws.
Eligibility requirements for obtaining PR in the USA
To obtain permanent residency (PR) in the United States, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements. The eligibility criteria include:
- Employment-based PR: An individual may be eligible for employment-based PR if they have a job offer from a US employer and meet certain educational and/or work experience requirements. The employer must file a petition on the individual’s behalf.
- Family-based PR: An individual may be eligible for family-based PR if they have a close family member who is a US citizen or permanent resident. The family member must file a petition on the individual’s behalf.
- Diversity Visa Lottery: The Diversity Visa Lottery is a program that allows individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the US to apply for PR. The eligibility criteria for this program include being a citizen of an eligible country, having a high school diploma or equivalent, and meeting certain work experience requirements.
- Asylum: An individual may be eligible for asylum if they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
General eligibility criteria
In addition to fulfilling the specific eligibility requirements for the type of PR being sought, individuals must also meet general eligibility criteria. These include:
- Admissibility: Individuals must be admissible to the US, meaning they do not have a criminal record or other factors that would make them ineligible for entry.
- Health: Individuals must undergo a medical examination to ensure they are not a public health risk.
- Financial support: Individuals must demonstrate that they have the financial resources to support themselves in the US.
- English language proficiency: Depending on the type of PR being sought, individuals may need to show proficiency in the English language.
- Education: Individuals may need to have a certain level of education or work experience, depending on the type of PR being sought.
Documents required for PR in the USA
To apply for permanent residency (PR) in the United States, also known as a Green Card, applicants must provide a variety of supporting documents to prove their eligibility. Here are some of the typical required documents:
- Passport: A valid passport is required to verify your identity and travel history.
- Birth Certificate: A birth certificate is required to verify your age and place of birth.
- Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree: If you are applying for PR based on your spouse’s status, you will need to provide a marriage certificate. If you have been previously married, you will also need to provide a divorce decree.
- Police Certificates: You may need to provide police certificates or clearance certificates from all countries where you have lived for more than six months since the age of 16.
- Medical Examination Report: You must undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved physician to ensure you do not have any communicable diseases.
- Education and Work Experience Certificates: Depending on the category through which you are applying, you may need to provide certificates of education, such as diplomas, degrees, or transcripts, and work experience letters or certifications.
- Affidavit of Support: If you are applying for PR based on employment or family sponsorship, the petitioner will need to provide an Affidavit of Support, which shows that they have enough income to support you financially.
- Tax Returns: Both the applicant and the petitioner may need to provide tax returns or other financial documents to prove their income and tax history.
- Photos: You may need to provide passport-style photos that meet specific USCIS requirements.
Cost of PR in the USA
The cost of obtaining permanent residency (PR) in the United States can vary depending on several factors, including the category of immigration and whether you are filing the application yourself or working with an immigration attorney. Here is the cost of PR application process:
- Filing Fees: The filing fee for a PR application can vary depending on the category and whether you are filing the application yourself or working with an attorney. As of April 2023, the filing fees for some of the most common types are as follows:
- Family-based petitions: $535
- Employment-based petitions: $700-$1,555
- Diversity Visa Lottery: $330
- Biometric Fees: As part of the PR application process, you may need to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and photographs. The biometric fee is currently $85 per person.
- Medical Examination Fees: To obtain a Green Card, you must undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved physician. The cost of the examination varies, but it typically ranges from $100-$500.
- Legal Fees: If you choose to work with an immigration attorney, you will need to pay their legal fees, which can vary depending on their experience and the complexity of your case. Legal fees can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
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No, it is not an easy process. It involves fulfilling specific eligibility requirements and going through a complex application procedure. The process can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly for individuals who do not have a clear path to meet the eligibility criteria.
The duration to obtain PR in the USA varies depending on various factors, including the immigration category and the workload of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For instance, family-based petitions may take several years, while employment-based petitions could have a shorter processing time. In general, the process can range from several months to multiple years.
The USA PR point calculator assesses an applicant’s eligibility for specific immigration programs, such as the Skilled Worker Immigration program. This points-based system assigns scores based on several factors, including age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and adaptability. To be eligible for the program, applicants must attain a minimum number of points. The specific requirements and point allocation can vary depending on the program.
Yes, it is possible to apply for PR in the USA while being present in the country on a non-immigrant visa, such as an H-1B visa. However, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements for PR in a specific category and adhere to the appropriate application procedures.
Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Senior Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.