International Student/Rare situation, can I apply for residency?

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International Student/Rare situation, can I apply for residency?

I am Colombian citizen who moved to the U.S. 11 years ago when I was 14. I came under my mother’s work visa. When I reached 21 years old I changed my status to a student F-1 visa. I

finished school, did OPT, enrolled back in school for a second bachelors degree. I have a year left, planning to go to grad school. I hear there is only a few ways to get naturalized in the U.S. as a student, however I wonder if I matters that I moved here early and pretty much made my life here, graduated high school, college, now About to go to grad school. I have connections, live here and I’m in a field that is ideal to work as free lance rather than a typical 40 hour a week job. I’m wondering, due to my longevity in the U.S.11 years, can I apply a different way than the normal ones for residency?

Asked on July 27, 2016 under Immigration Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, the basic and short answer is no.  There are many people in similar situations and there is no short cut to residency or naturalization.  Once you are here lawfully, you have basically two options to permanent residence--through family or through employment.  If through family, it is by way of being petitioned by a parent, child over 21, sibling or spouse (some relations faster than others) or through a valid offer of employment from a US company.


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