Some Maryland residents who are applying for green cards may be among the majority of green card recipients who are already in the U.S. on some form of temporary visa. According to figures released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, of the roughly 1 million immigrants who get green cards annually, fewer than half are new arrivals. This has been the case since fiscal year 2004. However, there has been a decrease in the number of people already living in the country who receive green cards and an increase in the number of new arrivals who get them.
There are a number of criteria that could make a person eligible for a green card. Family members of citizens or lawful permanent residents may be eligible. There are also categories for refugees and asylum seekers. While there are not limits on green card numbers in these categories, there are limits by country. Green cards may also be employment-based.
The Trump administration has proposed several changes to green card eligibility and immigration law. One would reduce green card availability to people with temporary visas. Another would reduce the number of refugees allowed in the country, and along with asylum seekers, this could be the group most affected. There is also a possibility that temporary work visas, including the H-1B visa, could be reduced in number.
Immigration is complex and requires accuracy in putting together the necessary documents. Furthermore, there may be changes ahead in the law. Therefore, a person who is seeking a green card or a type of visa or who wishes to apply for citizenship may want to talk to an attorney.