How to Get a Green Card - Learn Your Options
Many people wish to live and work in the United States. Obtaining a Green card allows you to do this. A Green card identifies the holder as a permanent U.S. resident. As a Green card holder, you are allowed to enter, exit, work and live in the United States.
Step 1. Identify which Green Card option you qualify for.
Step 2. Contact us at email@example.com to get started.
Option 1: Are you an Immediate Relative?
Are you an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen? Immediate relatives qualify for a green card and can receive them fairly quickly.
The main question is: Do you qualify for a Green card? Review the categories below to see if you qualify.
You are considered an Immediate relative, if you are:
- a spouse
- a recent widow or widower
- an unmarried child under the age of 21
- an unmarried stepchild under the age of 21
- a parent or step parent of U.S. citizen child of at least age 21
- an adopted child
This is the best category to qualify under the Green card. If you qualify for the Green card here, there are an unlimited number of Green cards for this category. This means you would receive a Green card immediately after your U.S. citizen relative completes the paperwork and submits the application.
Option 2: Are you a Relative/Other Family Member?
If you are not an immediate relative but still related to a U.S. citizen or Green card holder you may qualify for the Green card. When you obtain your Green card under this category you will have all the privileges as an Immediate Relative. You can enter, exit, work and live in the United States.
You are considered another family member, if you are:
- Unmarried child, age 21 or older
- Spouses and unmarried children of Green card holders
- Married people with one U.S. citizen parent
- Sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens
It is good to qualify under this category, but there is a quota on the number of visas issued, so your wait time will be longer. If you are from the Philippines, China, Dominican Republic, India and Mexico there are many applications by applicants and you wait time may be longer than others.
Option 3: Are you a Preferred Employee?
If you qualify for a Green card as a preferred employee your employer will be applying for your Green card. This category's goals is to provide Green cards to those people with skills that are required in the U.S. The employer must prove a qualified U.S. citizen does not exist. This category has a limit of 140,000 Green cards; consequently the category prioritizes types of employees.
The 1st Preference Employees are:
- persons of extraordinary ability
- outstanding professors and researchers
- managers and executives of multinational companies
The 2nd Preference Employees are:
- professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability
The 3rd Preference Employees are:
- professionals, skilled or unskilled labor
The 4th Preference Employees are:
- religious workers
The 5th Preference Employees are:
- Investors willing to invest $500,000 to one million dollars.
Many employers will use this Green card category to hire and keep a foreign citizen in the U.S. Find an employer, make yourself invaluable and have them agree to petition for your Green card.
Option 4: Can you enter the Green Card Lottery?
The U.S. government has made 50,000 Green cards available to people of countries that have sent the least amount of immigrants to the United States. If your birthplace is from one of these countries you will qualify to apply for the Green Card Lottery.
We have partnered with USAGC a preferred Green card lottery service site. Check if your country qualifies for the Green card Lottery and get started.
Click here to get started with your Green card lottery application.
Option 5: Are you an Investor?
If you wish to invest in the U.S. by starting a business you can qualify for a Green card via the EB5 visa.
You have two investment options:
- Invest $500,000 in designated employment area
- Invest $1,000,000 in any employment area
This EB5 visa can be obtained fairly quickly once the application is ready, proof of investment established and authenticity of business venture is completed.
Option 6: Are you a Special Immigrant?
If you qualify as a special immigrant you can obtain your Green card. Special immigrants are people in special situations deserving of permanent residency in the U.S.
You are considered a special immigrant if you fall into any one of the following:
- clergy and other religious workers
- foreign medical graduates who have been in the U.S. since 1978
- former employees of the Panama Canal Zone
- long time foreign workers for the U.S. government
- retired officers or employees of certain international organizations
- foreign children who have been declared dependents of the state
- employees of international broadcasting companies
- former employees of the U.S. Armed Forces
- abused spouses and children
Option 7: Are you a Refugee?
If you are a person who fears persecution in their home country can request Refuge or Asylum. You will seek 'refuge' when you are outside the U.S. If you are in the U.S. you will seek 'asylum'.
Option 8: Are you able to seek Amnesty?
If you qualify for amnesty based your situation, then you will be able to obtain your Green card.
You may obtain Amnesty, if one of following situations applies to you:
- you lived illegally in the U.S. since Jan 1, 1982
- you worked as a field laborer for at least 90 days between May 1, 1985 and May 1, 1986
Option 9: Are you a Long Term Illegal Resident?
If you have lived illegally in the U.S. for more than 10 years you can request a Green card. Your request is called a "cancellation of removal". You may need to show extreme hardship.
Your Next Step
If you believe you qualify for a Green card contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow you to confirm whether you qualify and start your Green card application.