Other Ways to Obtain a Green Card

  1. Special Immigrants
    Juveniles – Unmarried children (under 21) are classified as Special Immigrant Juveniles and entitled to petition for permanent residence if:

    1. they are declared dependent on a U.S. juvenile court and been deemed eligible by that court for long term foster case, and
    2. it has been determined in an administrative or judicial proceeding that it would not be in their best interests to be returned to the country of nationality or country of last habitual residence.

    INS regulations also provide that Special Immigrant Status may be granted even if the child has been placed for adoption. One noteworthy item about special immigrant juveniles is that even after they obtain citizenship, they may not sponsor their biological (natural) parents for immigration to the United States.

  2. Certain Current and Former United States Government Employees
    1. Generally
    2. A foreign employee of the United States government abroad who has served faithfully for at least 15 years, may be eligible for special immigrant status if
      1. the principal officer of a Foreign Service establishment finds that there are exceptional circumstances and recommends granting special immigrant status; and the
      2. The State Department approves the recommendation and finds that it is in the national interest to grant special immigrant status.
    3. Employees of U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong and of the US Government or Canal Government in Panama
    4. In light of the imminent transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997, employees of the United States consulate in Hong Kong may petition for special immigrant status under certain different from those described above.

    The Panama Canal was transferred from the United States to Panama pursuant to a treaty signed in 1977. To deal with some of the expressed concerns regarding the personal safety of some residents, special immigrant status was made available for former employees of the Panama Canal Company, Canal Zone Government, United States Government under certain circumstances.For further information regarding the conditions under which U.S government employees from Panama or Hong Kong may obtain special immigrant status, for legal advice contact us today.

  3. Certain Foreign Medical Graduates
    Special immigrant status is available, by means of a “grandfather clause”, to certain foreign physicians who have practiced for a long period of time in the United States. In order to qualify for permanent residence on this basis a physician must:

    1. Fully and permanently licensed to practice medicine in a State in the U.S. on or before January 9, 1978, and were practicing in a State on that date;
    2. Entered the U.S. as a H or J nonimmigrant prior to January 9, 1978; and
    3. have continuously practiced medicine since their date of entry.

    It is important to note that a variety of immigration options may be available to the many foreign medical graduates who do not qualify for special immigrant status under the foregoing provision. If you are interested in learning about these options, for legal advice contact us today.

  4. Certain Officers of International Organizations and Their Families
    1. Permanent residence is also available for certain officers and employees of international organizations who are here on temporary G-4 or N visas. (See thePermanent Visa Section for a brief discussion of G-4 and N visas) A retired officer or employee of an international organization may be entitled to permanent residence if:
      1. while maintaining G-4 nonimmigrant status, they have resided and been present in the United States for periods totaling one-half of the seven years before applying for permanent residence and for a period or periods aggregating at least 15 years before his or her retirement from the international organization; and
      2. he or she applies for permanent residence no later than six months after his or her retirement or six months after May 25, 1994, whichever is later.
    2. Permanent residence may be granted to the unmarried son or daughter of an officer or employee, or former officer or employee of a designated international organization who:
      1. While maintaining G-4 or N nonimmigrant status, has resided and been physically present in the United States for periods totaling at least one-half of the seven years before the date they apply for permanent residence and for a period or periods aggregating at least seven years between the ages of 5 years and 21 years; and
      2. applies for permanent residence no later than his or her 25th birthday or October 24, 1988, whichever is later.
    3. The surviving spouse of an officer or employee of a designated international organization may also qualify for permanent residence if:
      1. while maintaining G-4 or N nonimmigrant status, they have resided and been physically present in the United States for periods totaling at least one-half of the seven years before they apply for permanent residence and for a period or periods aggregating at least 15 years before the date of death of such officer or employee; and
      2. They apply for permanent residence as a special immigrant no later than six months after the officer of employee’s death or October 24, 1988, whichever is later.
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