For Employment Based Immigration, there are five categories.
The categories are listed in order of preference (i.e. EB-1 is given first preference).
To become a Green Card holder through the Employment Based Application, you must have a permanent employment opportunity in the USA and go through a multi-step process:
Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
(Please review Supplement A to Form I-485 as additional fee requirements may apply).
· Form G-325A Biographic Data Sheet (between the ages of 14 and 79)
· Form I-693 Medical Examination Sheet (NOT required if you are applying based on continuous residence since before 1972, or if you have had a medical exam based on a fiancé visa)
· Two color photos taken within 30 days (for more instructions on photos please view INS Form I-485.
· Form I-864 Affidavit of Support (completed by the 'sponsor'). (This requirement may NOT apply to you if you are adjusting to permanent resident status based on an employment petition).
· Form I-765 Authorization for Employment (if seeking employment while case is processed). For more information, see How Do I Get a Work Permit?
· Evidence of inspection, admission or parole into the United States - Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record.
Note ~ If you are "outside" the USA when your immigrant visa number becomes available, you will be notified and must complete the process at your local U.S. consulate office.
· If your spouse became a lawful permanent resident after you were married, you must submit evidence that your spouse has been granted permanent residence. You must also submit a copy of your marriage certificate and proof that any previous marriages entered into by you or your spouse were legally terminated.
When an Immigrant Visa Number is issued to you by the State Department it means that an immigrant visa has been assigned to you, and you can now apply to adjust your status to permanent resident status.
Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, will have an immigrant visa number immediately available for them once the application filed for them is approved by the USCIS.
How can I check when my Immigrant Visa Number will be Available
Every approved visa petition is placed in chronological order according to the date the visa petition was filed.
The date the visa petition was filed is known as your priority date.
The State Department publishes a 'bulletin' which shows the month and year of the visa petitions they are working on by country and preference category.
You can guesstimate the amount of time it will take to get an immigrant visa number by comparing your 'priority date' with the date listed in the bulletin. For example, if you look under your country and preference category, and see that the State Department is working on applications they received in May 1996. If your priority date is May 1998, then you may have to wait several more years for an immigrant visa number to become available.
You may access the State Department Visa Bulletin , or you can call the Department of State Visa Office at (202) 663-1541, to learn which priority dates are currently being processed.
What if the RIR Fails?
Losing an RIR case is not so fatal. The DOL will put it at the back of its queue and treat it as a regular case, though that may take a few years to complete
For each category listed below, the filing requirements are different. Please click on the category that applies to you for eligibility information and filing procedures;
You should contact the USCIS office where your application was filed.
INS Forms and Fees are available online
by calling 1-800-870-3676
by requesting forms by mail
To maintain your green card you must establish a permanent residence in the U.S. If you leave the U.S. for one year and return, depending upon the facts of your case, INS may revoke your green card. INS airport inspectors often question green card holders about their ties to the U.S. If the inspector believes you have abondoned U.S. residency he may take your green card pending a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Proof of permanent residence includes owning U.S. property, renting or owning a house, paying U.S. taxes, maintaining U.S. bank accounts, credit cards, paying utilities etc. There is no set formula for proving you maintained U.S. a permanent residence. Its a matter of proving your intention through fact and circumstances.
The U.S. government does not want people holding green cards as a convenience. You must really have a permanent residence in the U.S. and you must pay U.S. taxes on your world wide income.
If you have a green card and you know you will be out of the country for a long period of time, in excess of six months, you should apply for a Reentry Permit. The reentry permit is a travel document that INS considers as proof that you paid U.S. taxes and that you have no intention of abandoning your permanent residence in the U.S.A.
To obtain a reentry permit you must file form I-131 with photographs, proof that you have a green card and a statement describing your reasons for departing the U.S. for a long period of time. Acceptable reasons include family illness, transfer to a job in a foreign position, business reasons. Reentry permits are valid for two years.