Frequently Asked Questions
(Answered by David Kaplan)
Can green card holders vote?
No. You must be a citizen and 18 years old or older to be eligible to vote in any State or Federal election in the United States. There may be some local (non-governmental) elections that a green card holder could be eligible to vote. Make sure to disclose you immigration status prior to voting.
How to get a green card for my parents?
To petition for a green card for your parents, you must be a citizen of the United States, either by birth or naturalization. You also must be over 21 years of age before becoming eligible to apply for your parents.
Can you get a green card with a criminal record ?
Yes. However, this is an incredible complex area of immigration law. Essentially, your eligibility depends on you’re the nature of your criminal record, and how that record interacts with immigration laws.
How can I get a green card based on marriage?
If your spouse is a green card holder, he or she can petition for you. If that petition is approved, your eligibility to apply for a green card varies with your physical location, your status in the U.S. (if you are here), and on whether your spouse is a green card holder or a citizen of the U.S. Please note that this applies to same-sex couples. Also, under some circumstances, U.S. citizens can apply for fiancées residing abroad, and when those petitions are approved, the fiancée comes to the U.S. to apply for a green card after the couple marriages.
Can you get green card from h1b visa?
No. The H-1b visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows you to work for a specific employer for a maximum period of 6 years (with some exceptions). In order to get a green card an employer (often your current employer) must follow a parallel process that involves filing of a certification with the department of labor and a separate petition (I-140) for your benefit.
What happens if you divorce before the green card interview?
Generally a spouse will not be able to adjust status if the alien divorces the petitioner prior to the interview. However, in cases where the alien has been subjected to abuse by the petitioner, it may be possible to file a self petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which can be an alternative way to get a green card.
Does a green card holder need to do jury duty?
No. In fact a green card holder MUST NOT do jury duty because USCIS can take the position that serving on a jury is an implied false statement that the person is a U.S. citizen.