Permanent Residency

Houston Permanent Residency Lawyer

A permanent residency card or “green card” provides a path to legal status in the United States. Acquiring permanent residency can open many doors to immigrants in the United States.

Mario Madrid and the attorneys at Madrid Law can assist individuals in a variety of circumstances who are seeking a new life in the U.S.

Benefits of Permanent Residency

A green card signifies that a person is a long-term legal resident of the United States. After five years with this status, a person can apply for full citizenship. Under some circumstances, a person may be able to apply for citizenship sooner. For example, if the permanent resident is married to a U.S. citizen, he or she can generally apply for citizenship after three years. Obtaining permanent residency status also allows a person to legally work in the United States.

Ways to Acquire Permanent Residency

There are a number of ways to get a green card, some of which include:

  • Family: A citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. can sponsor a green card application for an immediate family member. An immediate family member is one’s spouse, parent or unmarried child (who is under the age of 21). Petitions for other family members may take longer to process.
  • Employment: Another way to acquire a green card is to have an offer for permanent employment from an employer in the United States. An employer may specify steps that a potential employee must take. Applicants for permanent residency who plan to work in certain types of jobs may be able to self-petition, which means that a specific employer does not need to be involved.
  • Refugee status: An individual may be able to acquire permanent residency by seeking status as a refugee through a grant of asylum or as an asylee’s qualifying family member. Haitian refugees or victims of human trafficking and specific other crimes may receive special adjustment by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).


There are only a certain number of green cards that the USCIS can distribute. Therefore, green cards are given in a specific order of preference.

  • First preference: People who are particularly skilled in the arts, sciences, business, education, research or other specialized fields. This preference also applies to multinational managers and executives.
  • Second preference: Individuals who have an offer for a job in the United States and professionals who have advanced degrees or outstanding clout in business, science or the arts.
  • Third preference: Certain professionals and employees who have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Fourth preference: Ministers and broadcasters.
  • Final preference: Individuals who will invest $1 million or more to create at least nine jobs in the U.S.

Consult With a Permanent Residency Lawyer

Mario Madrid is a Houston immigration attorney who is committed to providing legal services for clients throughout the Greater Houston Area.

If you are interested in learning more about permanent residency status, or if you need help getting a green card for a loved one, dial 713-877-9400 to schedule a free consultation with Madrid Law.