While there are many successful countries around the world, the United States is still known as the Land of Opportunity. Many people want to immigrate to the US and become permanent residents to enjoy these opportunities. The best path to permanent residence is with a green card. Anyone with a green card can permanently live and work in the US. Learn the different ways to become a permanent resident with a green card below.
US Citizens or Permanent Residents Can Sponsor Green Cards
If you are related to a US citizen or legal permanent resident, then they can sponsor your green card. You must be an immediate relative, which means you are a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent of a child who is at least 21. Married children, siblings that are at least 21 years old, fiancés, widow(er)s, and abused family members can also apply for a green card.
Skilled Workers or Investors Can Obtain Green Cards
While family sponsorship is one of the best ways to obtain permanent residence, it’s not the only way. Employers can also sponsor green cards. The US government regulates employment sponsorships, so to obtain a green card through work, you must be a skilled worker for an investor. A skilled worker is someone with extraordinary abilities, an advanced degree, or multiple years of experience. In some circumstances, employers will sponsor green cards for unskilled workers as well. An investor must invest between $800,000–1,050,000, depending on the field. The investment must contribute to at least 10 full-time employee positions.
You Can Obtain a Green Card as a Refugee or Asylee
Refugees and asylees can live in the US without a green card. However, you can apply for a green card if you want. After a year of living in the US as a refugee or asylee, you can apply to adjust your status to permanent resident. To be eligible for this status adjustment, you must be physically present in the US when you file, continue to meet the definition of refugee or asylee, and other similar conditions.
Crime and Abuse Victims Can Obtain Green Cards
Immigrant victims of human trafficking or other crimes often receive T or U immigration status, respectively. In some cases, these victims can apply for status adjustments to become permanent US residents. You must have maintained continuous presence in the US on your T or U visa and meet other conditions to be eligible.
Lastly, if you are an immigrant who is abused by an immediate family member who is a US citizen, you can also apply for a green card. The abused spouse or child of a Cuban national or Haitian refugee is also eligible.
You can become a permanent resident in many different ways, not just these four. However, the four options we described above are often the easiest. To further ease your green card application or status adjustment, you can hire a permanent residence attorney. At Gahagan Law, our experienced attorneys want to assist you in your immigration endeavors.