Having an E-2 visa does not guarantee you will get a green card. However, you can apply for one. Here's everything you need to know about applying for a green card and becoming a permanent resident in the United States.
There are different ways to apply for a green card. It is possible for a family member or an employer to be the qualifying person for your application—a necessary step. The green card will be given based on the qualifying person, and this can affect the length of time it takes to get your green card.
If an employer is your qualifying person, it can take several months for the full process to be complete. You will likely need to go through the labor-certification process, as there will need to be checks to see if a U.S. resident could do the job first.
When a family member is your qualifying person, you don't lose your E-2 status at all, and your family member will need to qualify to be your sponsor. This may be quicker, but the length will depend on the family member. It can take 12 months for a child to sponsor a parent, but it can take as long as 8–13 years if the family member is a sibling!
When you are applying, you can either do it in the United States or out of the country at your U.S. embassy. The former method will usually take a shorter length of time, and you won't need to leave the United States at all while going through the process.
The Situation of Dual Intent
Dual intent is a tricky thing. When you apply for an E-2 visa, you will need to state that you have no intention of applying for permanent residency. That doesn't stop you being eligible for a green card. Instead, you have dual intent: you have the intend to leave the country when your visa comes to an end, but you want to become a legal resident for a period of time.
An Attempt to Change the Law
At the moment, the United States Congress is trying to change the law regarding E-2 visas and green cards. There is an attempt to get the E-2 five-year visa to automatically turn into a green card. This is something that is in the early stages, so don't rely on it happening in time for your application.
That's all you need to know about the application for going from E-2 visa to green card holder. Understand your options to get the quickest and easiest route for your permanent residency. For more help, visit sites such as http://www.vanblk.com to find a lawyer who specialized in labor and employment law.
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