Lawful Residance

New Orleans Lawful Permanent Residence Lawyers

Helping immigrants in Louisiana obtain their green cards

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are also known as green card holders. An LPR is not a citizen. An LPR is legally authorized to live in the United States – permanently. If you’re a lawful permanent resident in Louisiana, you can work without restrictions. You can join the US military. You can receive financial aid for public colleges. You can also apply to become a US citizen if you qualify.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, there are several classes of admission that foreign nationals can take to gain LPR status, based on the Immigration and Nationality Act. The largest LPR classification group is to reunite families. Many people who already work in the US seek lawful permanent resident status. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our New Orleans immigration lawyers help folks who seek lawful permanent resident status based on all classes of admission understand the immigration process. We fight to convince the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you qualify for lawful permanent resident status.

How do I seek lawful permanent resident status in New Orleans?

James Gramham Law Offices Rule

There are several ways to obtain a green card. These ways depend on your location at the time you apply. Generally speaking:

  • If you or the person you are sponsoring is lawfully in the US, then the applicant can seek an adjustment of status from his/her current status (usually a temporary visa) to a lawful permanent resident.
  • If you or the person you’re sponsoring lives abroad, then the applicant needs to process the request for lawful permanent resident status through the Consulate of the country where the applicant lives. Consular processing can also be used if the applicant is not eligible for an adjustment of their status.

Concurrent filing means that an immigrant petition is filed at the same time the application for a green card is filed.

Immigration Lawyer

Who is eligible for lawful permanent resident status in New Orleans?

To apply for lawful permanent residency status, the applicant must be eligible. The categories of eligibility include:

  • Family members. The applicant must be:
    • An immediate relative of a US citizen: spouse, an unmarried child under 21, or a parent of a US citizen who is 21 or older.
    • A family-based preference relative.
      • A family member of a US citizen who is an unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen (and the sponsor is 21 or older), a married child of a US citizen, or a sibling of a US citizen who is 21 or older.
      • A family member of a lawful permanent resident who is the spouse of the LPR, an unmarried child under 21 of the LPR, or an unmarried child of an LPR and the LPR is 21 or older.
    • A fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen (K-1) or the fiancé(e)’s child (K-2)
    • A widower of a US citizen. The applicant must have been married to the US spouse at the time the spouse died.
    • A victim of battery or extreme cruelty – and the applicant is an abused spouse of a US citizen or an LPR, or an abused child (unmarried and under 21) of a US citizen or LPR
  • This applicant is one of the following types of workers:
    • A first preference immigrant worker. These are workers or managers with certain advanced skills and other qualifications.
    • A second preference immigrant worker. This worker is a member of a profession that requires an advanced degree or an immigrant with “exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business” or the worker is seeking a National Interest Waiver.
    • A third preference immigrant worker. These are workers who meet certain training or experience requirements, professors, and unskilled workers.
  • Special immigrants. These include religious workers and certain other types of workers.
  • Refugee and asylum seekers. Certain folks may be eligible for LPR status if they have been here for a full year.
  • Human trafficking and crime victims. Survivors who are granted T or U visas can apply for lawful permanent resident status.
  • Registry immigrants. People who may qualify because they’ve lived in the US continuously since 1972.
  • Certain adult children of immigrants. Your age can determine whether you are eligible for a green card as a child. The Child Status Protection Act, often referred to as CSPA, allows certain children who have aged out (become 21 years or older) after an immigrant petition has been filed to still be eligible for a green card through their parents.

There are also employment waivers for physicians who agree to work in underserved areas and for investors in certain employment areas and projects that will create full-time jobs for 10 or more employees.

Employers in the US are required to check to see if a worker, even a worker with US citizenship, has the authority to work in the US. If necessary, our New Orleans immigration lawyers will help you obtain an Employment Authorization Document. According to USCIS, there must be an available visa in order to apply for a green card. Some categories, such as green cards for immediate family members are generally always available. Other types of visas require that the applicant wait in line (receive a priority date) until a visa becomes available.

Can I travel outside the US while I’m waiting for or have my green card?


If you’re waiting for a green card, or if you already have your green card, reentry into America requires that you have the following documents, depending on your status:

  • Advance parole document
  • Refugee travel document
  • Re-entry permit
  • TPS travel authorization
  • Carrier documentation

USCIS does consider approval for emergency travel. Our immigration attorneys in New Orleans can help you plan based on your current status.

What information does USCIS need to review an LPR application?

Immigration Paperwork

There are a number of steps you must complete to file for LPR status including:

  • Form completion. There are different types of forms (including Form I-485 to request your green card) that must be completed depending on the immigration class. Each form has its own requirements for submitting documentation and other evidence.
  • Medical examination and vaccination status. When you apply for your green card, you will likely need to complete an immigration medical examination. You’ll need to be examined by an approved physician. In addition, you’ll need to provide your vaccination history – your doctor will help you complete this task.
  • An affidavit of support. Your sponsor will need to file a form (some exceptions may apply) to show that the applicant has the financial ability to live in the US without having to seek welfare benefits or other US financial benefits. The applicant must also show that he/she will not become a public charge.

Applicants who are in America under one immigrant visa category may wish to transfer their application for LPR status to another category – to improve the chances for approval. Our New Orleans immigration lawyers will explain how you can request the transfer change while also pursuing your LPR petition.

Do you have an immigration lawyer near me?

The Law Office of James A. Graham is located in New Orleans and serves all of South Louisiana.

For clients who are unable to travel, we can schedule phone or video conferences when needed.

Contact our New Orleans immigration lawyers to learn more about lawful permanent residency

We help you or a person you want to sponsor realize the American Dream – to live in the United States permanently. At the Law Office of James A. Graham, our immigration lawyers have helped numerous applicants obtain lawful permanent resident status. Our lawyers are respected across New Orleans and South Louisiana for our understanding of the complex issues involved with applying for a green card. We’ll answer your questions and all the detailed information you need to submit. To discuss applying for a green card, please call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.