What are my options to get permanent residency in the US?

I am a Swedish citizen who has lived in the US legally for the last 12 years. I’ve been on an F1, H1B, and currently an F2 through my husband who is a UK citizen on an F1 visa. Both our minor children were born in the US and have American citizenship. Is there any other way for us to gain permanent residency here other than my husband later being sponsored for an H1B or through the diversity visa lottery? Based on the time we’ve been here legally or because our children are American citizens? Or is there some other way? Should we speak with an immigration law attorney? We’re in Los Angeles, CA.

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Immigration Law, California


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your children will be able to petition you and your husband for permanent residence but only when one of them reaches the age of 21.  Until then, unless you have other relatives in the US who can petition for you or through employment or on the basis of winning the diversity visa lottery, there are no other ways for you to gain permanent residence.  Depending on what the field of specialization for your husband is, it may be possible to self-petition as an alien of extraordinary ability but you'd have to provide more details to determine whether or not you would qualify.

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