Many people get Green Cards (become permanent
residents) through family members. You may be eligible
to get a Green Card as:
v an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, this includes
spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and
parents of U.S. citizen petitioners 21 or older
v a family member of a U.S. citizen fitting into a
preference category, this includes unmarried sons or
daughters over the age of 21, married children of any
age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizen petitioners
21 or older
v a family member of a green card holder, this
includes spouses and unmarried children of the sponsoring green card holder
v a member of a special category, this can include battered spouse or child (VAWA), a K nonimmigrant, a person born to a foreign diplomat in the United States, a V nonimmigrant or a widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen
Information on fiance(e) visas or adoption is located in other sections of our website.
Authot: Kyle Lease "Mexican Family"(CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/kl75214/4299604896/
The main ways to immigrate based on a job offer or employment are
Green Card Through a Job Offer: You may be eligible to become a
permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in
the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a
labor certification and then file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for
Alien Worker, for you.
Green Card Through Investment: Green cards may be available to
investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an
enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.
Green Card Through Self Petition: Some immigrant categories allow you to file for yourself (“self-petition”). This option is available for either “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver.
Green Card Through Special Categories of Jobs: There are a number of specialized jobs that may allow you to get a green card based on a past or current job, such as:
Afghan/Iraqi Translator, Broadcaster, International Organization Employee, Iraqi Who Assisted the U.S. Government, NATO-6 Nonimmigrant, Panama Canal Employee, Physician National Interest Waiver, Religious Worker
Authot: screaming_monkey "Hands at work" (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/screamingmonkey/4839552797/
Authot: U.S. Mission Uganda "Unknow" (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/us_mission_uganda/7202656778/
Refugees and asylees can apply for a green card.
If you wer admitted to the United States as:
v a refugee
v a qualifying family member of an asylee
v granted asylum in the United States
Then you may apply for permanent residence
1 year after your entry into the United States
1 year after the grant of your asylum status
Note: As a refugee, you are required by law to apply for permanent resident status 1 year after being admitted to the United States. As an asylee, you are not required to apply for permanent resident status after being granted asylum for 1 year, although it may be in your best interest to do so.
Although most immigrants come to live permanently in the United States through a family member’s sponsorship, employment, or a job offer, there are other ways a Green Card (permanent residence) can be obtained, such as the:
v Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (referred to by many as the 'Green Card Lottery')
v K Nonimmigrant (includes fiancé(e))
v Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act
v Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status
Authot: Gerson Galang "US migrants' faces" (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/gersonworks/3261953789/