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Permanent Residency – Green Card

Immediate Relatives
Family Preference System
Residency Through Employment
Employment First Category (E1)
Employment Second Category (E2)
Employment Third Category (E3)
Employment Fourth Category (E4)
Employment Fifth Category (E5)
Special Legislation

Our Immigration Law practice group will explain the process, go over every question in the applications with you, prepare the documentation, collect and review the supporting documents and file the case under the name of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq and prepare you and your relative prior to the interview.

If your relative is out of the country, we will do everything necessary to have the consular interview result in an approval. If you or your relative is in the United States, should you wish to have an attorney accompany you, we will have a lawyer go with you to the adjustment interview.

If you are living in a state that is far from our offices, you may elect to:

  1. Go to the interview without a lawyer (not advisable).
  2. Go to the interview with one of our lawyers.
  3. Or we will hire a lawyer near your home to go to the interview with you.

Obtaining permanent residency (“green card”) grants the applicant, spouse, and minor children lawful permanent residence to live and work in the United States.

There are many ways to obtain lawful permanent residency in the United States:

  • Immediate relatives of United States citizens
  • Individuals who have achieved extraordinary ability in their professions
  • Individuals who qualify to fill an employment position that no American can fill
  • Multinational executives
  • Religious leaders
  • Married or Unmarried Sons or Daughters of United States Citizens over 21 years of Age
  • Married or Unmarried Brothers or Sisters of United States Citizen
  • Spouse or Minor unmarried child of Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Unmarried Child over 21 years old of Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Grant of Refugee or Asylum in the United States
  • Visa Lottery
  • NACARA; Cuban Adjustment Act; HRIFA, and other special legislation

The Visa Bulletin, issued monthly by the United States Department of State, controls the time period (quota) many cases take. Priority dates (date of filing) do not affect Immediate Relatives.

Immediate Relatives

The “Immediate Relative” is an immigrant petition which allows some individuals from other countries to apply for legal permanent residence in the United States on the basis of a family relationship to a United States citizen.

The benefits of this type of visa are:

  1. Immediate relatives receive preferential treatment and are not subject to a quota.
  2. If the relative entered the United States with a visa, he or she will be able to change status in the United States even if they overstayed their visa or worked without permission.

The approval and grant of such visas are subject to the alien not violating any other law(s) or regulation(s).

An immediate relative is:

  1. A spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  2. Parent or step-parent of a U.S. citizen.
  3. A child or step-child of a U.S. citizen.
  4. Spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen.

A step-parent or child will only qualify as an immediate relative if that relationship was created before the child’s eighteenth birthday.

Family Preference System

The Visa Bulletin, a monthly publication of the U.S. Department of State, sets forth the availability of family preference visas for:

  1. Adult children (unmarried and married) of U.S. citizens.
  2. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
  3. Spouses and unmarried children (minor and adult) of lawful permanent residents.

The Priority date is the date that the Petition is filed.

Preference Relationship U.S. Sponsor Visa Allocated:

  • 1st Unmarried adult children, U.S. Citizen — 23,400 Visas/year
  • 2nd A Spouses and minor children, LPR — 87,900 Visas/year
  • 2nd B Unmarried adult children, LPR — 26,300 Visas/year
  • 3rd Married adult children, U.S. Citizen — 23,400 Visas/year
  • 4th Brothers and sisters Adult, U.S. Citizen — 65,000 Visas/year

Residency Through Employment

The Offices of Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq can process any application or petition, whether on behalf of the company or the self petitioning individual. We consult with the individual and/or company and carefully analyze the facts and make recommendations on what is the best procedure to follow. Once retained, we will assist with preparing petitions, applications, documents, correspondence and continue the case through adjustment of status or consular processing.

An individual from another country may permanently immigrate to the United States if he or she fulfills certain conditions. The complexity in this type of case depends upon the education, skill, experience and nationality of the person who wishes to immigrate. Each country has its own quota.

The process of obtaining employment based immigration is broken into various steps:

  • PERM (formerly Labor Certification)
  • Visa Application
  • Adjustment of Status
  • Consular Processing

PERM is required of all categories except the first preference category. But, under special circumstances, this requirement can be waived by filing a National Interest Waiver.

There are currently five (5) employment based preference categories. Under current law, there are a maximum of 140,000 employment based immigrant visas issued each year. The first three preference categories are each allotted approximately 40,000 visas annually plus certain allocations from the preference groups. The last two categories are each allotted approximately 10,000 visas annually. Any unused visas in the first three categories are applied against the demand of any other of the first three preference categories.

The classification of a preference category dictates the complexity, cost and wait of the procedures. The important factors influencing the difficulty of the process include the demand for visas in each category, the number of visas available in each category, whether the category requires a PERM application, and whether a National Interest Waiver is possible under the circumstances.

Employment First Category (E1) — No job offer required

Within this category there are three sub-categories:

  1. Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. Applicants in this category must have extensive documentation showing sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in the field of expertise. Such applicants do not have to have a specific job offer so long as they are entering the U.S. to continue such work in the field in which they have extraordinary ability. These applicants can file their own petition with USCIS (formerly INS) without the need of an employer.
  2. Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three (3) years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally. No PERM is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file the petition with the USCIS.
  3. Certain L-1 visa executives and managers who have been employed at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer. The applicant must be coming to work in a managerial or executive capacity. No PERM is required for this classification, but the prospective employer must provide a job offer and file a petition with the USCIS.

Employment Second Category (E2)

Professionals holding advanced degrees, or persons of exceptional ability in the Arts, Sciences, or Business. All second preference category applicants must have a PERM approved by the Department of Labor (DOL), or Schedule A designation, or establish that they qualify for one of the shortage occupations under the Reduction in Recruitment process (discussed later). A job offer is required and the U.S. employer must file a petition on behalf of the applicant.

Aliens may apply for exemption from the job offer and PERM if the exemption would be in the national interest, in which case the alien may file the petition. Form I-140 along with evidence of the national interest.

There are two subgroups within this category:

  1. Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five (5) years experience in the profession.
  2. Persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business.

Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered within the field.

Employment Third Category (E3)

This group includes skilled workers, professionals holding Baccalaureate Degrees and other workers. This is the category under which most people file. These applicants require an approved I-140 petition filed by the prospective employer. They all require a PERM application (Labor Certification or Schedule A designation), or evidence that they qualify for reduction in recruitment (RIR).

There are three (3) subgroups within this category:

  1. Skilled workers are persons capable of performing a job requiring at least two year’ training or experience.
  2. Professionals with a baccalaureate degree are members of a profession with at least a university bachelor’s degree.
  3. Other workers are those persons capable of filing positions requiring less than two years’ training or experience.

Employment Fourth Category (E4)

These are called Special Immigrants. There are six (6) subgroups:

  1. Religious workers coming to carry on the vocation of a minister of religion, or to work in a professional capacity in a religious vocation, or to work for a tax-exempt organization affiliated with a religious denomination.
  2. Professionals with a baccalaureate degree are members of a profession with at least a university bachelor’s degree.
  3. Former employees of the Panama Canal.
  4. Retired employees of international organizations.
  5. Certain dependents of international organization employees.
  6. Certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Employment Fifth Category (E5)

To qualify, an alien must invest between U.S. $500,000.00 and $1,000,000.00, depending on the employment rate in the geographical area, in a commercial enterprise in the United States which creates at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other lawful immigrants, not including the investor and his or her family.

Labor Certification – ETA 750A and B are Department of Labor (DOL) forms. After completion of these forms and complying with all requirements, a labor certification may issue.

The labor certification must establish that the alien will not displace U.S. workers or adversely affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers. This is established by demonstrating that no minimally qualified and willing U.S. worker can be found. Alternatively, a position may be pre-certified if the DOL has determined that there are insufficient USC/LPR workers in the field. This is accomplished through a list of pre-certified jobs designated as Schedule A by the DOL. Once a labor certification is approved, the employer files an I-140 employment based visa application on behalf of the alien employee or prospective employee.

PERM – ETA form 9089 has now replaced the “labor certification.” The new process is referred to as PERM (Program Electronic Review Management). An approval is required before the employer may file an I-140 employment based visa application on behalf of the alien employee or prospective employee.

Special Legislation

Diversity Immigrants (Visa Lottery) — The Attorney General determines the number of persons from each foreign country that will be allocated visas and which countries that will not be located visas for any given year. Only one application may be filed per applicant per year or the applications will be disqualified.

Polish and Hungarian Parolees — The Congress in IIRIRA established a special adjustment of status program for persons who:

  1. Are nationals of Hungary and Poland.
  2. Were inspected and granted parole into the U.S. during the period Nov. 1, 1989, to Dec. 31, 1991, after being denied refugee status.
  3. Have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 1 year and physically present on the date the Adjustment of Status Application is made.
  4. Are admissible into the U.S without regard to INS Section 212(a)(4), (5), (7)(A). Each family member must independently qualify and apply separately.

Nicaraguan and Cuban Adjustment — Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act — Provides for adjustment of status for Nicaraguans or Cubans physically present in the U.S. since Dec.1, 1995, if he/she applied for adjustment of status before April 1, 2000. They can adjust even ordered excluded, deported, removed or failed to depart voluntarily after VD order.

Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 — Provides for equal treatment for Haitian refugees with Nicaraguans Adjustment and Central American Relief Act. Applications must have been filed at any time between June 11,1999, and March 31, 2000.

Syrian Adjustment Act — Allows for the adjustment of status of Syrian Jews who:

  1. Arrived in U.S. after Dec. 31, 1991, after being allowed to depart Syria by the Syrian government.
  2. Are physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing the adjustment of status application.

The application must have been filed no later than Oct. 26, 2001. The applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for one year after being granted asylum, must not be firmly resettled in any foreign country, and must be otherwise admissible. A spouse, child, unmarried son or daughter of the principal applicant may also apply.

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Adjustment Act — Allows for the adjustment of status of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian Nationals who were paroled into the U.S. before Oct. 1, 1997, and who were physically present on the date and eligible for adjustment.

USA Patriots Act — Provides for special benefits for family members of persons who were victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by allowing them to become special immigrants or to self petition. It allows for the extension of certain deadlines for children who have become 21, for persons granted voluntary departure or for persons who missed the diversity lottery deadline as a result of the events of September 11, 2001.

To speak with an experienced Immigration attorney immediately call us toll free at 1–800–923–3456 or contact us online to discuss your legal matter today.


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thank you guys for representing me!
, Jun 17, 2016
Thanks everything was perfect
, May 3, 2018
MaryanN and Jasmine both very helpful and professional. Jonathan Kessous very professional. Would recommend the firm.
, Aug 5, 2016
Jonathan was brilliant!!! He is an expert in the field of DUI's. He is patient, well prepared and first and foremost he was concerned for the well-being of me and my family... Thanks so much for your representation!!!!
, Jun 29, 2016
Lawrence and his team are A+++ when it comes to all aspects of law.
, Jun 17, 2016
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, Jul 21, 2016
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, Oct 22, 2017
Excellent Lawyers and paralegals. They kept me informed and updated on the progression of my case. I was pleased and will be referring others to them. Outstanding customer service.
, Jul 22, 2016
Hi, it was a very good experience !! I appreciate all the things the Lawyer did for me, he won the case, thank you so much again, I am 100% satisfied!
, Mar 29, 2017
Estuvo bien gracias muchas gracias
, Jul 12, 2017
Thanks for helping and you have the best service
, Jul 26, 2016
Felt very well taken care of. Excellent!!!!!
, Jul 19, 2016
Thank you, for your help throughout this difficult time. It’s been a pleasure working with you guys. Highly recommended
, Jan 6, 2018
Compassion and professional
, Oct 27, 2017
My lawyer was great Mr White and Anita was very helpful returned calls and let me know every step of the way
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Very professional I'm very happy with their service.
, Aug 29, 2017
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, Feb 28, 2018
Very satisfied
, Aug 3, 2016
They are the Best & most straight forward, honest, hardest working law firm I have ever seen in my life.
, Apr 17, 2018
Excellent service.
, Apr 1, 2017
Awesome job , very pleased with the outcome of my case !
, Jan 4, 2017
Great service all the way around
, Feb 16, 2018
The best In Plainfield, Thanks Garces+Grabler+Lebrocq for your help! Beating my case and my wife case.
, Jun 15, 2016
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, May 16, 2016
The best lawyers and Their excellent assistants
, Jun 14, 2016
Professional, smart and most importantly, effective. Great attorneys that help in every aspect of the legal process. The office staff was always very helpful and polite, while the legal professionals were direct and extremely efficient. I highly recommend this office to anyone seeking advice or council.
, Feb 16, 2016
Excellent service John K gets the job done in the courtroom
, Aug 16, 2017
, May 23, 2016
Less then a year the lawyer from GGL resolved my case ,,, it is the second time they help me !!!
, Sep 28, 2017
Sarita was great, she sealed with every detail of the process. i recommend this firm
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, May 21, 2016
Gracias !!!!
, Apr 24, 2018
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, Apr 18, 2018
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, Jul 10, 2017
Very professional and timely precised on the whole process on my case. My whole process went as lawyer Arlindo explained it to me and no delays whatsoever!!!
, Jul 20, 2016
Perfect !!!!!!
, Oct 7, 2016
It was a slow process..but MR.Kotchta and Evelyn were freaking great..i cant say any more about them to..they always answered my questions in a professional manner while i was being an pain in the butt with them..👍👍👍👍
, Sep 7, 2016
My lawyer Pat was very efficient on my case and I definitely give GGL 5 stars
, Oct 23, 2016
Yous are the best of the best thank you for your service
, Sep 12, 2015
A well-prepared staff who handled everything we asked. Made us feel welcome and handled everything professionally.
, Jun 13, 2016
Los mejores
, Jul 7, 2017
Very professional and know what they're doing which is hard to find nowadays. Arlindo Araujo was very clear, precise, and on point!!!
, Jul 20, 2016
Best lawyer I ever had
, Nov 9, 2017
Johnathan Kessous did a fantastic job handling my case. I hope i never need his expertise again...but if I do, he would be my first choice for legal representation. I had gotten a speeding ticket on the NJTPK going 84 in a 55 which resulted in a state trooper issuing me a 5 point ticket. Johnathan got it reduced down to zero points... just a fine.
, Oct 4, 2017
Thank you Mr. Lawrence LeBrocq, I have no words for the amount of appreciation I have for what you've just done.
, May 9, 2017
Estoy feliz por el trabajo que hisieron, gracias por todo.
, Oct 5, 2017
I would like to say thank you to ALL at Garces, Grabler, & Lebrocq. I believe all work with great integrity. The patience and effectiveness really shows in my life. From car accident to divorce. Purchasing home. Even with help making my dreams come true and starting my own business. I appreciate ALL. Definitely know I will always be in good hands. Thanks!!!
, Oct 20, 2017
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, Feb 3, 2017
Muy bueno y excelente
, May 21, 2016
Great lawyers great service highly recommended
, Dec 29, 2017
Arlindo and Gisela were extremely helpful. They told us exactly what to do, what we could expect and gave us options for working with our situation. Thank you!
, Oct 26, 2017
Outstanding service very professional attorneys thumbs up all the way
, Feb 4, 2017
Saved my life twice!!
, Jul 13, 2016
Far exceeded my expectations. Mr. Vella was confident and professional. Should I require legal assistance in the future I won't hesitate to call them.
, Oct 21, 2016
I recently had gotten a ticket that was worth 5 points. I choose this firm because they were local to where the incident occurred. I was very nervous and unsure of the possible outcomes. They were so patient and reassuring with my case. Everything went smoothly and quickly and I was very happy with the final results! I would highly recommend them!
, Feb 25, 2016
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, Jul 5, 2017
They have done great work for me and my family.
, Oct 9, 2016
You guys are excellent
, Apr 17, 2018
Great Experience. Wouldn't hesitate to give you a call back when i mess up again. Great Service, Great Lawyer. Couldnt ask for more. Thank You Guys Once Again.
, Jul 23, 2016
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, Dec 21, 2017
Yo ELSA, estoy muy agradecida y muy feliz de haber escogido como mi abogado. Es un buen y excelente preparado e inteligente ABOGADO. Trabaja muy profesional y consciente igual todo su personal que trabaja en su oficina. Me ayudó mucho con mi Caso. Lo recomiendo a cualquiera persona que necesita sus servicios de un buen ABOGADO.
, Feb 17, 2017
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, Jul 8, 2017
Sarita Núñez vas very efficient. She did everything she could to have the case resolved
, Mar 2, 2017
Great expletive with Esq Arindo. He is practical, honest, and thorough. I really appreciate his help.
, Jun 16, 2016
Todo muy bien
, Jul 21, 2016
I found my attorney, Mr. Kessous, to be highly professional, knowledgeable, friendly and effective. He was highly responsive to my questions and concerns and easy to work with, and achieved the desired settlement for me in regard to my traffic ticket. If I were in the same situation all over again, I would choose to work with him without hesitation, and expect that if I were to face a similar situation in the foreseeable future, I would contact him. I would also provide his name with the highest recommendation to others in the area for such problems. (I also found his assistant, Gabriela Vargas, to be quite responsive and helpful as well.) Thanks again for all of your help!
, Jan 25, 2017
Los mejores abogados gran equipo
, Jul 7, 2017
Thank you for your help and good job
, Oct 17, 2017
They were very helpful and address any questions I had about my case.Great team, very happy overall
, Nov 22, 2017
Mr. Lebroq is an excellent Attorney. The office staff has always been prompt , respectful and helpful. I highly recommend this firm.
, Oct 10, 2015
Very good i will recommend your services to other people
, Mar 2, 2017
This firm is everything a law firm should be in this diversified world we live in today. The entire staff & attorneys are always on top of your legal matter. You can rest & trust that you are going to receive the best legal advice possible. The staff makes you feel at home with them. They are always extremely personable & knowledgeable about whatever issue they are handling for you. I love them & would highly recommend them to everyone & anyone.
, Dec 7, 2017
Knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly guy. Thanks for the service!
, Jun 13, 2016
, Jul 6, 2017
I would love to sincerely thank you for your patience and assurance during the whole period. It was very easy to get hold of you even on the phone and you always explained things to the best of your ability to me. I would quickly and highly recommend you to anyone who may have a case like the one i had. Thank you.
, Jul 7, 2017
I was very impressed with the professionalism and quick turn-around time from all the participants from GGL that assisted me. I would like to especially thank my attorney Jonathan Kessous. His credentials are very notable he is one of four attorneys throughout the entire state of NJ certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Trial Specialist in both Criminal and Municipal Court Law matters. My case was very serious and could have resulted in jail time or suspension of my license. Jonathan was able to resolve my case very favorably. I am extremely thankful for his assistance. I would also like to recognize and thank his Paralegal Jasmin Caba and his Personal Assistant Marianne Crisitello for their assistance in communicating and preparing me for my trial. They are a great team and I would highly recommend them.
, Feb 27, 2017
Great service everytime.
, Aug 18, 2016
Extraordinary, very satisfied
, Oct 11, 2016
Jonathan A Kessous did an outstanding job in handling my case. He was able to get the most serious charge and several other charges against me dropped and my fine greatly reduced. I was most impressed with his professionalism.competence and the timely manner in which he responded to all my questions and concerns. This demonstrated to me that I was a priority and not just a client!
, Jun 13, 2016
Anna is the best lawyer I ever had the pleasure to hander my case, very knowledgeable in workers comp law, I would recommend to anyone.
, Jul 10, 2017
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, Oct 12, 2016
Excellent highly recommended
, May 25, 2016
I was happy with your service and professionalism with handling my case. I was treated with respect and always told the truth and not half of a story or what I wanted to hear. My team was awesome thank you
, Jul 14, 2017
Great people they do help thank you for everything you've done
, Jul 18, 2017
Se los recomiendo muy buen abogado y lucha asta conseguir lo mejor para el cliente
, May 26, 2016
My case is still a work in progress. I will say that my Lawyer here has done more for me pre court than I had expected. If you need a lawyer for anything you can find someone here to help you.
, Oct 26, 2017
U guy's r amazing LAWYER'S! I will always recommend u to all my friends and family members. Thank u for going above and beyond with my case. Awesomeness!!!!!!
, Oct 6, 2016
Yo estoy muy satisfecha con su servicio gracias abogados de G G. Lo volviera a contratar todas lss veces k los nesecite por su rapides y su eficiencia. Son muy dedicados a sis clientes Gracias
, Jun 19, 2017
El mejor abogado muy eficaz
, Jan 26, 2017
Best of the best. Thanks you
, Aug 7, 2017
Very helpful in getting speeding ticket points reduced.
, Jun 15, 2016
I would like to say thank you for all your help you've giving me.
, May 24, 2016
, Jan 5, 2017
I had the opportunity to meet with Michelle Labrada and she and her staff made me feel at ease especially dealing with a traumatic experience. Extremely responsive and understood the details when it came to my case. I am very appreciative of their support.
, Apr 15, 2018
Muy buen servicio al cliente y buenos abogados
, Jul 27, 2016
They were very effective in getting my ticket and fines knocked down to lesser offence. I appreciate all their help.
, Jul 15, 2017
, Aug 3, 2016
Son exelentes y recomentables
, Sep 4, 2015
Robert White III, Esq. was professional and efficient in every step of the process. From dealing with my Worker's Comp insurance to making sure I got the best care with a skilled neurosurgeon and making sure my case was handled fairly by a judge and the court system. I would definitely recommend Garces, Grabler and LeBrocq for anyone who was in need of representation for such matters.
, Mar 28, 2017
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, May 7, 2016