The answers to your questions depend on the basis for the green card - family, employment, etc.
You may want to meet with an immigration attorney directly to discuss the options you may have available for permanent resident status. Good luck!
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What's the best time to apply for a green card? When you qualify to apply for one. Merely pursuing a PhD is not a basis for a green card. You need a qualifying employment or family based petitioner.
You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through http://www.ailalawyer.com.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
It really depends for the basis for your green card, i.e. are you self-sponsoring, do you have an employer to sponsor you, or a family member to sponsor you. So you really need to have a formal consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
Contact immigration lawyer Gintare Grigaite, Esq. at 201-471-7989, located in New York and New Jersey, for a consultation about your immigration case. Answers on AVVO do not constitute legal advice and do not form attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney for a legal advice.
There is start time for green card filing like H1 start period. There should be a qualified sponsor to support your application for Green Card whether an employer or a family member and when that is available it would be a good time to start. Best Wishes!
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Contact (317) 660-6174 for specific legal advice. Answers here are not legal advice because they are of general nature and not tailored to your specific situation. You should not act on this answer without checking with an Immigration Attorney.