A green card gives you permanent US resident status, which allows you to:
– Reside in the US
– Buy your own house or property in the US
– Travel between the US and your country or origin without a visitor/business visa
– Seek employment and work in the US without any other visa or work authorization
– Register your own company and run your own business in the US
– Study in the US
– Sponsor family members for US immigrant visas
– Apply for US citizenship after 5 years of residing in the US
Your US green card also gives you the same rights as an American citizen, including all protection from the US Federal, State, and Local laws on par with any US citizen, while at the same time allowing you to also retain your citizenship in your native country
Best Tool During The Green Card Process: Visa Bulletin – What It Is & How To Navigate It?
Every year, the US issues a certain number of green cards under different categories. Depending upon eligibility and qualification, one can apply under one of these individual categories to get a green card that will grant permanent residency in the US to the beneficiary.
Based on various eligibility criteria, you may apply for one of the following. The process and timelines for each category varies:
Employment-based Green Cards can be divided into EB1, EB2, EB3 Green Card Categories. Green Card through Employer can be attained when a US employer is willing to sponsor your green card. It is a multi-step process and involves an elaborate application filing for a fee.
EB-1: employees with extraordinary ability in the science, arts, education, business or athletics, professors, researchers and Ph.D. holders etc. fall under this category.
It also includes people working in US as managers and executives on international transfer basis (Company transfer L1 holder)
EB-2: This includes employees with extra ability in the field of science, arts or business, and advanced degree professionals (PG. degree holder). For the complete process, document list and processing times, check out EB2 Green Card – Employment Based 2nd Preference Immigrant Visa
EB-3: This includes professionals with Bachelor/ Graduate degree, and other skilled workers.
Learn more about each of the employment based green card categories:
EB-1B Professors and Researchers
EB3 Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
Family-Based Green Card (including Marriage Based Green Card)
You can receive a green card if a family member who is a US citizen sponsors your green card. This has to be a close relative and includes spouse, children, parents and siblings only.
To be eligible to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States you must meet the following criteria:
– You must be a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and be able to provide documentation proving your status.
– You must prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
– Prove that the beneficiary will not become a public charge.
– Proof of the relationship.
To be eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following criteria:
– You must have a relative who is a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States who can provide documentation proving their status and is willing to sponsor you for lawful permanent residency by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
– Your relative must prove they can support you by providing documentation that their income is 125% above the mandated poverty line for their family, including you and all other sponsored family members.
– You can prove that you will not become a public charge and depend on the State for benefits.
– Prove you share the relationship.
The EB5 Green Card, also known as immigrant investor program, is an employment based green card category that allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Process, document requirements and eligibility varies for the EB-5 investment visa and might require n immigration lawyer to assist with.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as Green Card Lottery, Diversity Visa Lottery, or DV Lottery, is a US Government visa program that allots 55,000 immigrant visas (green cards) to foreign nationals of underrepresented countries each year. It is through the green card lottery that immigrant visas are made available to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The USA green card lottery program is held by the State Department and is open to all individuals from qualifying countries who meet the diversity visa lottery eligibility requirements. The DV lottery runs each year from October to November, where chosen applicants are randomly selected using a computer-generated system.
Those who are selected in the DV lottery will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residency (green card).
Related Article: Details on eligibility, documents list and process for the DV Lottery System
Green Card through Asylum & Refugee status
People who fear persecution in their home country or are victims of human trafficking, abuse or crime may be eligible to get entry into the US and seek long term shelter. If proven to be eligible, they will be granted a green card that will have to be renewed periodically.
For FAQs on seeking US asylum, and eligibility with burden of proof, you should contact a US embassy for details.
Re-entry Permit (Travel Document)