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What Are Alternative Ways to Get Green Cards?

Relocating to the United States can be a challenging endeavor. Establishing yourself as a citizen involves navigating the country’s laws and obtaining a green card, which is essential. While seeking guidance from an Illinois immigration attorney can simplify the procedure, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the available options. This blog will explore alternative ways to obtain a green card, ensuring you are well-prepared to ask informed questions during the process.

What Does A Green Card Do?

A “green card,” or Lawful Permanent Resident card, is a crucial document that permits individuals to live and work permanently in the United States. Although most green cards are valid for ten years, those that are conditional last for two years. It is important to renew your green card, but if it is not issued conditionally, your permanent residency will not expire.

With a green card, you can obtain a social security card and a state ID, although it is worth noting that laws may differ between states. In Illinois, for example, a Naperville Immigration attorney can provide details on the specific regulations. Now that you understand the importance of a green card let’s delve into the various ways to obtain one.

Domestic Violence Victims

In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted to support victims of domestic violence in gaining permanent residency in the United States, granting them freedom from reliance on their abusers. Ordinarily, under immigration laws, the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) relative of the victim must initiate the process by filing a petition with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) on behalf of the victim’s child, spouse, or parent. The citizen or LPR controls the process until the green card is granted. However, VAWA empowers victims to petition for themselves, eliminating the need for their abusers’ involvement. By seeking guidance from a green card attorney in Naperville, you can learn more about the process specific to your situation.

The K-1 Fiancé Visa

If you plan to marry a U.S. citizen, obtaining a K-1 Fiancé Visa sometimes can be a faster option than applying for a green card abroad as a spouse of a US citizen. This nonimmigrant visa enables a citizen’s fiancé to enter the United States to get married. Following marriage, the next step is to apply for a marriage green card. This approach is beneficial if your citizen fiancé cannot travel to your current country for the wedding. It typically takes 12 to 15 months to process a K-1 Fiancé Visa and 8-10 months  (these time frames are subject to change) to change your status to a marriage green card. To learn more about the process and address any questions or concerns, consult a Naperville green card lawyer.

Getting Permanent Residence as a Juvenile or Legal Minor

The Special Immigration Juvenile (SIJ) classification is a viable option for minors who have undergone state juvenile court proceedings due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, as it allows them to obtain permanent legal residence. However, specific requirements must be met, such as being physically present in the United States. The application process involves filing the I-485 form. To navigate this process, seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable Naperville green card attorney who can provide you with expert advice is recommended.


At Kasturi Law, LLC you can expect excellent guidance in immigration law from a first-generation immigrant, providing you with the confidence that your case will be handled with utmost care. Given the complexity of immigration laws, it is crucial to seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney in Naperville. Please call us at 630-392-8101 to learn more about how Kasturi Law, LLC can assist you.