Establishing Permanent Residency in Tennessee

Knoxville immigration attorney helping people get their green cards

When you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you are granted a lot of privileges that people with temporary visas do not have. Immigrant visas (or “Green cards”) allow you to stay in the United States indefinitely, and afford you many of the same rights a U.S. citizen has.

Whether you wish to eventually become a U.S. citizen or wish to remain a green card holder for life, we can help you. Patrick Slaughter offers practical counsel to people who wish to obtain – or maintain – their lawful permanent residence status in Tennessee. We answer your questions, returns your phone calls, guide you through complex forms, and help you when your status must change. We are aggressive advocates on behalf of our immigration clients who are facing legal troubles, and have experience handling appeals and defending clients in removal proceedings.

The benefits of a green card

People with lawful permanent residence status may:

  • Apply for financial aid and pay in-state tuition at colleges and universities
  • Remain in the U.S. indefinitely (with some exceptions)
  • Be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits
  • Hold dual citizenship with their native countries, if they wish to pursue that route
  • Be eligible for certain tax benefits
  • petition for their spouses and/or relatives to come to the United States, under certain circumstances

Permanent residents are granted almost all the same rights and privileges as American citizens, and many find it easier to get insurance or a mortgage. A permanent resident is free to visit other states and other countries, hold a full-time job for the remainder of his or her career, and live anywhere he or she wishes. Temporary visa holders on the other hand, must seek permission to work or travel in the U.S. – and often cannot do both.

The green card lottery

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program), sometimes called the “green card lottery,” allows up to 50,000 people from countries with lower immigration numbers to come to America as green card holders. There are also a small number of “winners” who are pulled from people in the U.S. on temporary visas, or whose immigration status is otherwise legal. The DV Program can be complex, and it is a smart idea to seek assistance from a skilled immigration attorney before you apply. Patrick can help you determine your eligibility and assist you through the application process.

There is one other thing that is important about the Visa Lottery. You really have to have your application in by October 1st. There are a limited number of visas available. Just because you received the letter saying that you have been selected, there is no guarantee that you will actually receive the visa. Applications are processed on a first come, first served manner. Processing of applications begins on October 1st. You really need to make sure that your application is there ready to go. If not, you will likely miss out.

Learn more about becoming a permanent resident in Tennessee

Our firm helps immigrants throughout Tennessee establish permanent residency. We answer your questions, try to ease your fears and provide competent and compassionate counsel to the people we serve. Please call our office in Knoxville 865.272.4454 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation.