How to get a  Green Card

Citizenship Eligibility

Green Card lottery

Every year, the Green Card Lottery allows 55,000 people from around the world to immigrate to the United States without having outstanding qualifications, family in the United States, or a job in the United States.

Anyone who meets the US authorities' comparatively minimal entry conditions has a chance to win the lottery by following a few easy steps. The winners are chosen by a lottery held by the US government every year between May and June.

Obtaining a Green Card through employment in the United States is difficult, but not impossible. Expect a lot of paperwork and significant wait times.

The employment-based Green Card is available to the following groups, unless a US citizen can fill the job they want in the US:

1 to 6 years of waiting
Valid passport, proof of employment offer in the United States, curriculum vitae, Labor Certification1, police clearance certificate, passport photographs, official translations of birth certificates and diplomas are all required documents.
The employer's application

more information
Employment-based Details on the Green Card

The "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability" (EB-1A) category is a merit-based green card option. This category is for those who have risen to the top of their field in a small fraction of the population. This visa is available in two versions: a temporary (O-1 visa) and a permanent (green card) form.

Unless you have received a Nobel Prize, an Academy Award, or another internationally recognized honor, you must meet at least three of the following ten alternative criteria:
 

  • Prizes or accolades that are less well-known on a national or worldwide level.

  • Membership in organizations that demand exceptional performance (as judged by recognized experts)

  • Significant published content about you and your work (authored by others)

  • Serving as a judge of other people's work in your field

  • Make significant contributions to your field

  • Articles or publications in scholarly journals

  • Exhibitions or showcases of art

  • For prestigious organizations, playing a leading or key role is essential.

  • High compensation or salary (compared to others in the field)

  • In the performing arts, commercial success is possible.
     

Wait time: none

Documents: valid passport, police clearance certificate, passport photos, certified translations of birth certificates and diplomas, proof of extraordinary abilities

Green Card through family members

You have the right to a family-based Green Card if you are an unmarried child under the age of 21 or the parent of a US citizen over the age of 21. All you have to do to apply is verify your family relationship.

If you are a descendant of a US citizen over the age of 21 or a brother or sister of a US citizen over the age of 21, the application procedure will take a little longer.

You can apply for a Green Card as a widow(er) of a US citizen under certain criteria if you apply within two years of being bereaved.

Wait time: 0 - 15 years (depending on age and case)

Documents: valid passport, certified translations of birth certificates, death certificates, and other documents (depending on the case), police clearance certificate

Application: by American relatives or self-petition by the widow(er)

More info: family-based Green Card details

Green Card through adoption

Are you under the age of 21, single, and adopted by a US citizen? After that, you can apply for a Green Card. Depending on whether you are already in the United States or still abroad, different procedures apply.

There are three possible ways to immigrate to the United States based on an inter country adoption under US immigration law. Individuals may receive a green card by adoption under one of these provisions only if their adoption satisfies all of the provisions' conditions.

Only children adopted by US citizens are subject to two separate procedures. The youngster may immigrate to the United States to be adopted or may immigrate to the United States to be adopted.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Documents: Valid passport, certified translations of birth certificates, adoption certificates, and other documents (as applicable), home study3, police clearance certificate

Application: By American adoptive parents

More info: Adoption Green Card details

Green Card through an investment in the USA

If you have sufficient financial resources, you may be able to obtain a Green Card through investing. There are two types of people:

$ 1,800,000 in investment cash for a firm in the United States of America of your choice
$ 900,000 in investment capital for a company in a rural area of the United States with a high unemployment rate.

The investment can be in equipment, products, or certificates of deposit, and it must result in the creation of at least ten full-time jobs for US citizens within two years.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Documents: Valid passport, business plan, passport photos, certified translations of birth certificates and other proof documents (depending on the case), police clearance certificate

Application: By a paper form at the appropriate USCIS2 office

More info: Investors’ Green Card details

Religious Worker Green Card

You may apply for a Green Card based on your employment if you undertake religious work in a full-time paid capacity in the United States while on an R-1 visa. You must apply as a "Special Immigrant" in order to do so.

This necessitates working for a religious organization based in the United States, or at the very least linked with a religious denomination based in the United States.

 

Note that the option for a religion-based Green Card has a time limit. It was just extended till September 30th, 2022 by US President Joe Biden. Additional extensions may be conceivable, but they are not guaranteed.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Documents: Valid passport, passport photos, certified translation of birth certificate, proof of status of the applying organization and full-time employment of the employee, police clearance certificate

Application: By the employer (religious organization)

More info: Religious Worker Green Card details

Green Card through marriage

Marriage gives you the right to a Green Card if you marry a US citizen. However, you and your spouse will have to devote a significant amount of time and energy to this process, as US immigration authorities are very wary about sham marriages.

Prepare for the following challenges in the Green Card application process:

  • Deadlines for providing evidence that are too short

  • Application denials without preceding demand for evidence

  • Specific questions regarding your relationship

If your wedding is still on hold, you can apply for a K-1 fiancé visa, which allows you to enter the United States to marry within 90 days.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Documents: Valid passport, passport photos, certified translation of birth certificates and marriage certificates, proof of authenticity of marriage, affidavits, police clearance certificate

Application; By the American spouse

More info: Green Card through marriage details

Green Card for refugees

There is hope, dear reader. You can apply for a Green Card if you are a refugee or asylum seeker who has lived in the United States for at least one year. If you wish to stay in the United States, the application is even required.

The following requirements must be met:

  • You have been admitted as a refugee or asylum seeker under the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act).

  • You are in the United States at the time of application.

The Green Card application process for refugees and asylum seekers is identical to the "Adjustment of Status" process that many other people with temporary residence status in the United States go through to get a Green Card.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Document: Vary depending on the case

Application: Adjustment of Status at the responsible USCIS2 office

More info: Refugee Green Card details

Green Card through asylum

An asylum seeker is someone who came to the United States, either legally or illegally, to escape targeted violence and persecution in their native country. This violence and dread must be the result of their membership in a certain social group or their political beliefs. Asylum applicants can apply for a Green Card through adjustment of status one year after getting their asylum grant, according to US immigration law.

You must meet four criteria to be eligible for an Asylum Green Card:

  • You must have spent at least one year physically in the United States.

  • You must continue to fit the refugee definition.

  • You must not have relocated to another nation, and

  • You must have a valid passport. 

Wait time; Varies depending on the case

Documents: Vary depending on the case

Application: Adjustment of Status at the responsible USCIS2 office

More info: Refugee Green Card details

You may be able to receive a Green Card through status adjustment if you are already in the United States on a non-immigrant visa.

Requirements:

  • You've arrived in the United States.

  • You entered the United States legally with a US visa.

  • Your right to remain in the country has not expired.

  • You have never worked illegally in the United States.

You must also fit into one of the Green Card categories, such as possessing exceptional qualifications or talents, a paying employment in the United States, American family members, or refugee status.

Wait time: Varies depending on the case

Documents; Vary depending on the case

Application: Petition at the responsible USCIS2 office

More info: Adjustment of Status details

Conclusion

I hope this information was useful. Complex immigration processing can be incredibly complicated and stressful for everyone. Before filing this application, you should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.

Immigrationservice.com can assist you and will be there for you every step of the journey. Please contact us via phone or email.