Important Steps to Take to Obtain a Green Card

social security cards and flag

Whether you came here first on vacation, as a student, or as an employee of a multinational company, when you decide that you want to make the U.S. your permanent home, the next step is to get a Green Card. Once you have a permanent resident card (which is good for 10 years and renewable every decade after that), even after a student visa expires or you leave your job with that employer. They are not easy to obtain, and applicants must go through a series of steps that could take several months (and even years) to get one.

Consult an Attorney

Perhaps the most important thing you could do at the start of this process is meet with an attorney who specializes in green card applications and immigration law. The laws to become a lawful permanent resident are complex, even for someone who speaks English as a first language and has lived in the U.S. for a while. Without the help of an attorney, you could miss important deadlines, forget a form, provide the wrong information, or miss something on the application that causes significant delays and even denial of your application.

Outline Any Ties You Have to the U.S.

Someone with a relative who is a U.S. citizen—such as a spouse, parent, or a child—can usually make a compelling case for why they should be granted a Green Card. There are also some special categories that you might fit into, such as a battered spouse, a widow or widower of a U.S. citizen, or a child of a foreign diplomat, that you can include on an application. An immigration attorney will be able to let you know if you qualify for any of these special categories.

Talk to Your Employer

If you are currently working for an employer, they may be able to fill out an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. This is usually applicable to those in management level positions or higher, and/or someone who holds a degree in a field where there are a shortage of qualified workers in the U.S. That could also include work in a “favored” category of employment, such as working for an international organization, religious workers, and doctors, or those who invest in a significant business venture that creates jobs or expands business in the U.S.

Understand It’s a Process

Perhaps one of the hardest things about the immigration process is the waiting. Hiring an attorney can help ensure that your application stays on track, but there is nothing that can be done about the long, slow process that everyone must go through to obtain a Green Card. It’s also important to understand that these cards are not permanent, so if you want to remain in the U.S. indefinitely, get your Green Card and then consider applying for U.S. citizenship.

If you’re interested in become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., talk to an immigration attorney in Utah to learn what steps you need to take to get that process started today.

Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.
Excellent
4.9
Kathleen Ann van H.
We are delighted to have been introduced to Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. through a family member! We are so grateful to Kim and her paralegals for their empathetic manner towards us, during this overwhelming process. They held our family's confidentiality close and answered all our difficult questions. We have been supported extremely well, throughout our immigration process and would highly recommend Kim and her paralegals. Thank you for your dedication on our behalf! We will always remember you.
Response from the owner: Kathleen, we truly feel honored to have been part of your process. HAPPY 4th of July!
Adam P.
Kim and her team did a fantastic job at assisting our organization with the H1B process. They were extremely thorough and detail oriented. I would definitely recommend Buhler Thomas Law for any of your immigration attorney needs.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much for leaving this review. We appreciate how responsive you were to our requests. Your organization is lucky to have you as their employee.
Rachel V.
Kim and her paralegals were amazing. I was able to get my green card. Kim was always responsive and helpful. I would/will recommend all my family and friends to Kim! The process was smooth, especially considering this kind process. Kim was always willing to talk and ease my mind throughout the whole thing. We love her and her team!
Response from the owner: Thank you, Rachel!!! My team loved working with you both. You were always on top of your case.
Nigel C.
Kim and her team were amazing to work with. Working with them on my H1B filing process was both relieving and rewarding. It was relieving because as a first-timer for my employer to go through such a process, they were able to help us prepare our case and answer our questions along the way. On top of that, they did it promptly as our case was very time-sensitive. It was rewarding because our case was approved the first time with no additional information being requested for either clarification or incomplete application. From start to finish, they demonstrated professionalism, efficiency, and a genuine commitment to meeting our needs. You can never go wrong with Buehler Thomas Law, they are exceptional! Highly recommended!
Response from the owner: Thank you so much! You have an incredibly bright future ahead of you.
Tammy N.
Kim was awesome and super helpful. The process was smooth and much easier with her help. We couldn’t have done it without her help. I would highly recommend her law firm.
Response from the owner: Tammy!! It was a pleasure working with you both. America is better because of you!
Andre B.
Kim helped our family and a number of our friends. We found Kim extemely helpful, experienced, and productive. She made sure that everything flowed effectively and efficiently. She is very friendly and easy to work with.
Response from the owner: Thank you Andre! I think the world of Judy and you!
Jude O.
Kim and her office has been great to work with! They have been very helpful and informative on the process. Everything was filed in a timely manner and they have been very easy to reach for any questions or concerns. I would recommend them for your immigration needs! I will be utilizing them again in the near future.
Response from the owner: We have really enjoyed working with you both. We look forward to working with you again!
marshall621
Kim was a great help to me and my wife. We felt like she was extremely responsive and accommodating to our situation. She helped keep us on track and kept things running smoothly. My wife was very anxious at the start and Kim helped her feel comfortable with with process and answer all her questions. We were extremely happy with how the whole process went. Thanks!
Response from the owner: Thank you so very much for leaving this review for me. Wishing you two the very best in life.
Hannah T.
Kim was responsive and got my application completed quickly. Answered all my questions thoroughly and honestly! 😊
Response from the owner: Thank you so much Hannah for writing this review. I can't wait to see where life takes you. The U.S. is better because of immigrants like you.
Whitney K.
We have loved working with Kim and her team. Every question is always answered and quickly. We have txt Kim on the weekends and she either called or text so quickly.We never feel we are an inconvenience to them. We couldnt recommend them more!!!!
Response from the owner: You were so easy to work with. It was our pleasure.
Pablo P.
Collaborating with the Buhler Thomas Office was a truly enjoyable experience. Their expertise in navigating the intricacies of the immigration process was outstanding. They provided smooth and accurate guidance in submitting applications and offered unwavering support at every stage of the journey.
Response from the owner: Thank you, Pablo for taking the time to write a review! We are so happy that your case was successful, due in great part to your tenacity!
Christian Q.
If you're looking for exceptional service, look no further than Kim Buhler's office. My experience with Kim dates back to 2005, and to this day, I remain astounded by her unwavering commitment to her clients.Kim guided me through a personal case with unparalleled expertise and compassion. From the moment we walked through her doors, she took the reins, guiding us through every intricate detail with a level of care that felt like she was holding our hands every step of the way.Navigating legal matters can often feel daunting, but Kim's confidence and assurance in the process immediately put me at ease. True to her word, everything unfolded exactly as she had outlined, leaving no room for uncertainty or surprises.Years later, Kim once again proved to be a beacon of reliability and support when she came to the aid of a close friend, rectifying mishandled matters with effortless precision.Recently, I turned to Kim for assistance yet again, and true to form, her honesty and direct approach shone through. While she couldn't directly assist in this particular instance, her immediate referral to a trusted colleague spoke volumes about her integrity and dedication to her clients' needs.Time and time again, Kim Buhler continues to surpass my expectations. Her unwavering professionalism, coupled with her genuine concern for her clients' well-being, sets her apart as a true gem in the legal profession. If you're seeking not just legal counsel, but a partner you can trust wholeheartedly, Kim Buhler is the name you need to know.
Response from the owner: Christian, thank you so very much for taking the time to write this review. I can't believe it hs been 19 years since we first met. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2024.
Iolanda Costa R.
Kim was amazing. We had one free consultation with her and the final review before filling and I just got my permanency approved. Her advice is valuable in terms of documents you need, organization of documents, preparation, etc. It was a super smooth process, USCIS did not ask for any additional documents or interview. I definitely recommend Kim if you are a student. She is an expert. I am so happy!
Response from the owner: I can't tell you how much your review means to me. Congratulations!! We are a better nation because of immigrants like you!!!
Elisa D.
Kim is an amazing attorney! She is very knowledgeable on everything related to immigration law. Our process was very long and difficult, but she was there to guide us on every step. Her team is also very attentive and responsive. I highly recommend her office!
Response from the owner: Eliza and I loved working with your family. You guys did the hard work. Thank you for showing us what “grit” looks like!
ALE
Kim Buhler-Thomas, a legal eagle who's got more brains than a flock of Einsteins and a heart bigger than a sumo wrestler's appetite.This woman is a legal powerhouse who's been kicking butt and taking names for over 20 years. She's got a track record of winning cases that would make even Perry Mason jealous. And she's not just a legal whiz, she's also a genuinely caring person who's dedicated to helping her clients.Now, I know what you're thinking: "A lawyer with a heart? That's like finding a unicorn with a jetpack." But I'm here to tell you that Attorney Buhler-Thomas is the real deal. She's not just interested in winning cases, she's also interested in helping her clients achieve their goals.And if you're a student at Ensign College, you're in luck! Attorney Buhler-Thomas offers free consultations to students. That's right, free! So if you've got a legal issue, don't hesitate to reach out to her. She'll be happy to help you out.Now, I know what you're thinking: "This all sounds too good to be true. There must be a catch." But I promise you, there is no catch. Attorney Buhler-Thomas is just a genuinely good person who wants to help others.So if you're looking for a lawyer who's got the brains, the heart, and the skills to get the job done, then look no further than Attorney Kim Buhler-Thomas. She's the lawyer you need and the lawyer you deserve.And if you're not convinced, just ask any student at Ensign College. They'll tell you that Attorney Buhler-Thomas is a legal superstar who's always willing to go the extra mile for her clients.
Response from the owner: Wow, thank you so much for the kind words. I appreciate your review. Best wishes in your future endeavors!
Tammy M.
I have a rare situation, and there was so much to worry about. Before I proceeded my case with Kim, I spoke to a few other attorneys, and the moment I consulted with Kim, I knew I should work with her. Very glad I made the decision! Kim and her team were very professional, honest, hard working, and knowledgeable on the whole procedure. They were always responsive, and we were able to fight the deadline. Things turned out smoothly and my case was approved in only 5 months. Would give them 10-star if I could. Truly grateful and I highly recommend Kim!
Response from the owner: Thank you so much, Tammy! It was such a great experience working with you.
AJ T.
Person in charge with scheduling is very incompetent. Talked to her 3 days a go and she told me to expect a call from Kim for their consultation on Friday around noon. I patiently waited for them to call me but it never happened. So i called their office and talked to her again and she was apologetic about the situation. I told her its okay I understand. And told me that she needs to talk to kim again and will give me a call back. After she's done talking to her. 1 hour passed still haven't heard from them. And i called again and asked her what is going on and told me to get another schedule for next week. I wasted my time trying to wait for them to call me which never happened and i have to be the one reminding her about it.Update: 10/2/23Kim personally reached out to us and made amends for what had happened with the scheduling. Kim was very professional and was able to answer our questions. Make us understand what we need based on our situation. I want to thank her for the effort she made to call us back.
Response from the owner: Hello AJ, this is Kim Buhler Thomas. I apologize that our office did not get back to you. I would be happy to meet with you on Monday. Please reach out to me directly at [email protected]. Please include your contact information. I will personally call you, and schedule a time to meet on Monday. I can also try to give you a call over the weekend. Have a nice weekend.
Eduardo C.
I really appreciate Kim and her team for their help with my Green Card application. They made the process straightforward and explained each step of the way. Kim replied to my emails and calls really fast. Her team put a lot of attention to detail on my package application. I was approved for my Green Card faster than I was expecting. I would love to work with Kim again for my citizenship application when the time comes. I would recommend her without hesitation.Thank you Kim, Merah, Ash, and team for your help!
Response from the owner: It was truly our honor to work with you. Thank you for the privilege. Warmly, Kim and team.
Andrew E.
Kim and her team helped my wife and I get through her green card process. Kim impressed both of us with how quickly she addressed our questions and concerns and how effective she was at getting us through the process. My wife now has her green card and Kim has helped us get it renewed every time that has come up. I highly recommend Kim.Thanks,-Andrew
Response from the owner: Thanks so much for your kind comments. It was my pleasure to help you both.
Jose L.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR GREAT HELP.Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. was extremely helpful with our very long process of getting our US Permanent Residence. It was a complicated process mainly due to compiling documentation from several countries where we lived and keeping track of all that was quite challenging. The Buhler Thomas team was very patient and persistent specially with reloading info every time there was a comment/rejection from NVC. In the end, we managed to get through the entire process despite some delays caused by reiteration of document uploading and finally we were called for a personal interview at the consulate and from there a final check/interview at Immigration in the US. Two months later, we received our Permanent Residence (Green Card). Thanks a lot to the entire team at Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.Jose Lacruz
Response from the owner: It was a pleasure to work with you and your family. We are so happy that you are permanent residents!
michael K.
Buhler Thomas Law were very helpful and informative by initially giving a consultation by answering questions and helping with reviewing my documents and in submitting these documents the process was quite easy because of them and I did not even get any issues I highly recommend them and would encourage everyone to try them out
Response from the owner: Thank you, Michael for taking the time to write a review. It was a pleasure working with you.
Dennis L.
Speed, efficiency, professionalism -- Kim and her team are so good in what they do! After we got our documents together and submitted, the process was just so smooth, practically stress-free! The hardest part was probably gathering the documents, but when we slacked, Kim and her team were right there to make sure we moved on. The gentle persuasions, the reminders -- we knew we were taken care of! Thank you, Kim, and your amazing team!
Response from the owner: Thank you so much Dennis. We enjoyed working with you and Flory. Please keep in touch!
Martin W M.
I’ve had Kim help me with stuff in the past. She’s super helpful and great to work with.
Response from the owner: Martin! Wow! Thank you!!! How nice to hear from you. I hope you are doing great. I think the world of you!
Kelly G.
RE: Recommendation of Buhler Thomas Law, P.C.4/17/2023Kim,Your Law firm did exactly as promised. You stayed on top of my immigration paperwork and timeframes. When delays took place, you readily took over and resolved the issues the Immigration Department had.Because of your diligence, I now have my Green Card and can proceed with my life in the USA with my husband.Again, thank you so much with staying involved and resolving complications created by my move half way through the process.I strongly recommend you and your firm to anyone wanting their immigration process to be handled professionally and in a timely manner.Sincerely,Wendy Harris Groth
Response from the owner: Wendy and Kelly, this made my day. Eliza and I truly enjoyed working with you both. Congratulations!
Justine K.
I worked with Kim to obtain my permanent residency status and she made the process so much easier! I tried to do the paperwork myself, but the application was so confusing to me and difficult to understand. When I connected with Kim, she was able to ask for my info in clear and simple ways so she could fill out my applications with the right items. This made me feel very confident going through the process. Her paralegal team (I worked with Tori and Sarah) was always quick to respond to my questions and calls and was thorough in putting together my documents. Also, they worked really fast! They really put together my application as soon as possible. Everyone at Buhler Thomas Law is kind, professional, and wise. I would recommend them over and over again. I can't thank them enough for their help.
Response from the owner: It was truly a pleasure working with you guys.
Zeb S.
Kim is very thorough and professional to work with. My wife and I are very happy we decided to work with her and would definitely recommend!
Response from the owner: It was a pleasure to work with both of you!
AHMAD K.
I can not be grateful enough to Kim and Thomas . The work they have done with their team to get me my H1B and Green Cards for my son and me was just amazing.It was impressive how flexible and ready to answer all my questions with patience and niceness they are. They, all are very active and very responsive. I have been to their Office many times, I was received very well and warmly. I couldn't help but be impressed by their effectiveness and kindness!
Response from the owner: Ahmad, thank you SO much for being such a great client. My team and I are thrilled you are here and a part of the American dream.
Arnaldo F.
Informative and honest.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much! This made my Sunday!
Audrey W.
My family really enjoyed working with Kim and her staff. She is very thorough and will help in whatever way she can. I highly recommend her work!
Response from the owner: Thank you so much! We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with your family.
Bob P.
Kim helped me and our department and university successfully navigate the obstacle course (to put it mildly) of the process to secure the immigration documents needed to hire and keep a great faculty member - who then recently received an award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.I would highly recommend her to anyone requiring expert, sensitive, effective counsel for academic or individual needs. She would be a superb teacher herself - she clearly explained the underlying issues, principles, and requirements in ways that made it much easier to avoid mistakes as differing situations arose. She was patient and instilled appropriate patience in us to sustain us through the difficult process, but when immediate action was called for, she was always available at any time or day including weekends, and we could tell she was as passionate as we were for the hoped-for proper outcome. Similarly, the right combination of diplomatic where called for and direct when needed. Working on such fraught matters could have been a miserable experience, but with Kim it was a pleasure and actually enjoyable learning experience, and best of all for the colleagues involved and the school, it was a complete success.
Response from the owner: Thanks, Bob! You are awesome. Warmest wishes.
Jonathan H.
100% recommend!! Kim generously offers invaluable presentations at my university and several others. These presentations and her consultations have been a huge blessing to my family's immigration needs. Thank you Kim and staff!
Response from the owner: Jonathan, thank you for taking the time to make this comment. Wishing you and yours the best!
Marjorie R.
Kim and her team were really responsive and detail-oriented. They were in constant communication with me and my employer as we working on my H1B work visa application. I reviewed all my application and I was impressed on how complete and thorough it was. In fact, I want to say thank you to Kim and her team for making it possible for my application to be approved and for educating me and my company on how the process worked. Totally recommend to consult this firm for any immigration concerns.
Response from the owner: I'm so glad we were able to assist you in getting your H1B visa. Please keep in touch.
Roberto Villanueva R.
Great staff, friendly and courteous. Professional service.
Response from the owner: My team thinks the world of you!
Nneamaka I.
Excellent Immigration Service: For Peace of mind, go with Buhler-Thomas Law.I highly recommend Kim Buhler-Thomas and her team for any immigration services. My employer retained Buhler-Thomas Law for their professional help for my transition from an OPT work authorization to an H1B visa. That was the best thing that happened to me. Kim and her team provided relevant and adequate advice to my employers and worked hard to ensure that my LCA application was certified by the DOL.Kim and Chelsie, the paralegal assigned to my case, were deeply knowledgeable of the vast and complicated immigration process. The team at Buhler-Thomas Law responded promptly to my emails and questions, even working after office hours on my case. Their efficient preparation of my application packet and the filing process with the USCIS happened with zero tolerance for errors. As a result of their excellent immigration service, my H1B application got approved in record time without any request for evidence. I am sure my employers will retain their services for my permanent residency and green card processing.Even more outstanding of their service was that I did not have to have physical contact with the Buhler-Thomas team. All communications, correspondence, and exchange of paperwork were done online!!! My physical presence at their office was not needed. For Peace of mind, go with Kim!!!
Response from the owner: Amaka, this post made my day. Chelsie is amazing. Its always a pleasure to work with clients who are as responsive as you.
oksana P.
When we were looking for an attorney to help us navigate the complex world of immigration law, we came across Buhler-Thomas Law. How can anyone have 5 stars with nearly a hundred reviews? By making the client feel heard, respected, and genuinely cared for, as it turns out. Kim understood our unique situation and went out of her way to help us. Her team was attentive, patient, and diligent. Ash, in particular, spent a lot of time with us putting our documents in order. Kim made sure to be available for our questions, even if she had to explain some things a few times. Outstanding business ethics. Thank you!
Response from the owner: Thank you Oksana! We are so happy to have the privilege of working with you and your family.
Janet N.
Kim and her staff helped our son with his K1 process. They told us what we needed to do and we just uploaded the documents. They put it together for us and sent it in. They were willing to take the time to help us review the documents and answer all the questions we had so that our K1 would be in great shape before it was sent.
Response from the owner: Janet, you were AMAZING to work with. You were always so good to work with. I hope all is well.
Endhi V
Kim Buhler, at Buhler Thomas Law, is amazing. She was helpful, clear, and smart. Her team at Buhler Thomas Law is excellent too. They follow-through and do what they say they will. I am grateful to them for their work and their kindness along the way.
Response from the owner: Endhi, you are a magnificent person and was our pleasure to work with you.
Gagan Deep Singh B.
Worked with this law firm for my work permit and for my green card application. They are super professional. And most importantly they are diligent when filling your application. Highly recommended!
Response from the owner: Thank you, Gagon! We enjoyed working with you too!
Stephen J.
Kim helped my family and I with our L1 Visa and my Green Card applications. Just a phenomenal lady, with knowledge and tenacity. The peace of mind Kim and her team gave us was priceless, and walked us through the processes step by step so we knew exactly what was happening, and why. Cannot recommend Kim highly enough.
Response from the owner: Thank you SO much for your kind review. Happy Holidays!
Jeff G.
Kim helped me with my EB-1 and green card application which were both successful without any hiccups. Kim is detail-oriented, thorough, and always quick to respond and follow-up. She keeps up to date on current immigration issues, and always had the expertise to deal with any questions and issues I brought up. Her staff were a pleasure to work with, and very responsive. I would strongly recommend her to others looking for a highly competent and expert immigration attorney.
Response from the owner: Hi Jeff, thanks for making my day. I'm sorry I'm behind in my replies. I hope everything is going well for your family.
Soldier Stephen Ben I.
Very very great law firm!!! Straight forward and up to date with all things Immigrations. Kim did a great job explaining the ins and outs of my issues!!! High quality and resourceful conversation!!!Will do business again!!!Pacome
Response from the owner: Thank you for your kind review. Have a great day.
Melanie O.
Immigration is a highly complex area of the law to navigate. When it comes to both potential and current employees within the realms of immigration and visa attainment, it is absolutely crucial to have trust and confidence in the firm you choose to guide you through its entirety—from conception to finality. That’s where Buhler Thomas Law comes into play. We work directly with Attorney Kim Buhler and her phenomenal team of paralegals for our company’s immigration needs and have absolutely no desire to look elsewhere. They live and breathe service and excellence and are phenomenal to work with. I highly recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance in immigration & naturalization law.
Response from the owner: Melanie, we miss working with you. We hope your family is doing great.
Jonathan B.
Kim truly cares about people. It is hard trusting lawyers at times especially with the costs of immigration but I can certainly say that Kim truly cares about students and people. She does a lot of work to help people in the community and I don't know a better lawyer to help you succeed in your immigration journey than her.
Response from the owner: Hello Jonathan, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I hope you and your family are doing well.
Alaa A.
During my H1 and GC process, Kim and her team were highly professional, very meticulous, and caring. I am extremely grateful to her as she took me out of immigration darkness to light and gave me so much happiness. Kim is truly the Best Immigration lawyer, detailed oriented, and a wonderful person.
Response from the owner: Ala'a, so great to hear from you. We think the world of you. I can't wait until you get your citizenship!
Daniel W.
After getting married, I do like a lot of people, Google the nearest immigration lawyer and read their reviews. I have to say chosing kim Buhler Thomas Law was the best decision I have made. In avoiding to be too detailed, my process went like this. Apply get work permit wait the longest for interview, denied after interview because I never get all the documents kim asked for. Kim then decided to reapply so I start all over again. Honestly after getting denied I thought that was it but kim suggest I reapplied. That helps me to get a new work permit and continue working while I start the process all over again.Please Please Please people fallow every step she asked of you. If I had done what she had asked I would not have gotten a denial in the first place. However if you have being denied good to know that's not the end of it. This process takes me almost 4 years but to reach this point where I now a green card holder it was well worth it. Kim and her entire team, have been nothing but thorough throughout the process. I've been acquainted with so many of her helpful paralegals who I've come to know and trust over the years especially, Eliza Orellana, Evelyn Muñoz and Grant Payzant. Once Again Your Success Throughout This Process Depends On You Doing Everything Kim Asked You To.I will continue to use her to fulfilling all my imagination needs and recommend her to any and everyone.
Response from the owner: Thank you so much, Daniel! We are thrilled for you!
Jasmine S.
Kim and her paralegal Eliza made my H1B work visa a reality in our current highly complex circumstances! Kim's communication exemplifies a perfect combination of personable and professional. She gets to the point and gets it done! Her knowledge of the application process is profound. She also understands my unique circumstances and has integrated them into the application process seamlessly. Kim and Eliza keep perfect track of the massive amount of information I send them and answer all my questions quickly and very clearly. Kim's patience, courtesy, acumen, attention to detail, and very intensive hard work allowed us to succeed in an impressively timely way, and I am so grateful to her and Eliza. I fully hope to work with Kim and Eliza again. They accomplished magic. Thank you so much, both!!
Response from the owner: Jasmine, thank you so much for all your kind email. We truly appreciated the opportunity to work with you.
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