Obtaining a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is a milestone that every person living in the US wishes to pass. Though the process is time-consuming and complex, it offers a straight path to residency. As well as, the opportunity to become a US citizen.
The good news is that there are several ways to achieve this coveted prize. From your relationship status to employment, you can leverage anything to obtain a Green Card, and here’s how to do it:
1. Say “I Do” – Spousal Permanent Resident Card
You have probably seen in movies how a foreign citizen marries a Permanent Resident Card holder to live their dream life in the US. While this is the easiest way to get a Green Card, Immigration Law requires the marriage to be genuine. The spouse not in the US can file an I-130 Petition. If they are in the US, they have to file an I-485 concurrently. The National Visa Center reviews the case before the Permanent Resident Card is awarded.
2. Widower-Based Green Card
In order to become a US citizen as a widower, you have to prove that you were married to the deceased. The spouse has to file an I-360 within two years of the spouse’s death to be eligible for the Green Card.
3. Employer-Sponsored Green Cards (EB-1B and EB-1C)
Researchers and professors who have received international recognition for their outstanding work and have taught for three years in a particular field are eligible for an EB1(B) Green Card.
Multinational executives and managers employed outside the US for a year can apply for an EB1(C) Card. The application process involves the US employer filing an I-140, demonstrating they can pay the set wage.
4. Fiancé-Based Resident Card
This Green Card is awarded to the fiancé of a US citizen who is not living in the US but has met their to-be spouse in person in the last two years. The US citizen will file an I-129F. After the case is reviewed, the fiancé will enter the US with a K1 visa. The couple will be given 90 days to marry, adjust their status, and apply for residency.
5. Parent-Based Green Card
As a US citizen, if you plan to make your parents residents, you must be 21 years old. The process to get their residency is similar to the spousal Green Card. If the parents are outside the US, you will have to file for an I-130, and if they are in the US, they will have to file an I-485 concurrently.
6. Child-Based Permanent Resident Card
To bring your child to the US, you can petition as a Lawful Permanent Resident or a US citizen. As with the former, you can petition for unmarried children under 21. As the latter, you can petition for unmarried children under 21 with their children and married children of any age with their children and spouse.
7. Sibling-Based Green Card
As a US citizen calling their sibling to the US, you must be 21 years old. You will first file an I-130 or an I-485 if the sibling is in the US.
8. Self-Petitioned Green Card
The self-petitioned Green Card is known as the EB-1A Green Card and is given to individuals with extraordinary abilities in areas such as science, business, arts, or athletics. Since EB-1(A) is self-petitioned, it does not require a sponsor or job offer.
9. Diversity Visa Lottery Green Card
The US government created this option for people to obtain residency by ensuring the country is open to low immigration rates. Under this program, 50,000 immigrant visas are granted at random annually.
To enter the program, you need to fill out the online form available on the US State Department’s website. Remember to save your confirmation number for regular status checks. Once you are selected, you will get an email to apply for the Permanent Resident Card with the form DS-260, which is for non-US citizens.
10. Victims of Human Trafficking Resident Card
The T-Visa gives human trafficking victims a chance to become Green Card holders. The visa offers protection to people who became a target of sex traffickers or were called to the US for a job opportunity, got their passport stolen, and were forced to work under pressure. The US grants employment authorization to these people.
The government needs proof that you were indeed a victim, which is why you must seek assistance from a law enforcement agency, gather evidence, and then apply for a Green Card by filing form I-914.
11. EB4 Religious Worker Permanent Resident Card
This Green Card is for immigrant religious workers, including non-ministers and ministers in religious occupations. Eligibility is based on being a member of any US religious, non-profit organization for two years. You can then file form I-360 to apply for a Green Card.
12. Special Immigrant Juvenile Green Card
If you are a juvenile living in the US and have been abandoned, neglected by your parent, or abused, you can seek protection from a juvenile court and apply for a Green Card once you have been granted asylum.
13. VAWA Self-Petitioner Permanent Resident Card
As a victim of extreme cruelty or battery, the abused spouse, child, or parent of a lawful US permanent resident can file a Special Immigrant Form I-360 without their guardian’s knowledge and consent to apply for a Green Card.
14. International Broadcaster Green Card
If you have been offered a job in the US in the media as a member of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), you can petition with an approved I-360 from your workplace to get a Green Card.
15. Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness (LRIF)
If you are a Liberian national and have been living in the US since 20 November 2014, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Card by submitting the I-485 form. The spouse and unmarried daughter or son under the age of 21 of the Liberian national can also apply for a Green Card.
16. Immigrant Investor Green Card
If you have invested $1,050,000 in a US commercial enterprise or infrastructure project, creating job opportunities for at least ten qualifying employees, you can apply for an immigrant visa. You have to file forms I-485 and I-526 with relevant documents, including proof that you maintained a lawful status to get your residency.
So, now you know that getting a Green Card is not that difficult, but finding the right category you fit in is challenging.
For more legal information, visit the website Spirit One.