Getting a “Green Card” can a complex process. One of the questions we frequently receive is simply “How can I qualify for a Green Card?” The answer depends on your specific situation. In this post, we will break down a variety of common scenarios.
If you have family members who are U.S. citizens, you have a “leg up” in the process.
If you are:
• Married to a U.S. citizen
• The widow or widower of a U.S. citizen
• Under the age of 21 and the natural child of a U.S. citizen, or the stepchild of a U.S. citizen who was under 18 at the time of the marriage
• The adopted child of a U.S. citizen who was adopted before the age of 16 and has lived with the adoptive parent for at least two years
• A child who is under the age of 16, orphaned, and will be adopted by a U.S. citizen
• A child under the age of 16 who has been adopted in a country that is a party to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, or is from such a state and will be adopted by a U.S. citizen
• The parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old
… the family member who is a U.S. citizen may petition for a green card on your behalf. These categories are not subject to annual quotas.
There are also categories for people with relatives in the U.S. that are subject to annual quotas. You’re can apply in one of these categories if you are:
• An unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old
• A spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident
• A married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen
• A sibling or half-sibling of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old
There are options for those that don’t have relatives in the U.S, as well. The most common option is job-related Green Card applications. People that may qualify include:
• Individuals with special abilities
• Professionals with an advanced degree or special skills
• Skilled workers
• Certain professions, such as religious workers
• Individuals who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in a venture that creates 10 or more jobs for U.S. workers
You can apply for a green card after receiving a job offer in the U.S.
The green card lottery program is another way of obtaining a green card. It provides 50,000 green cards annually to randomly selected applicants.
People who have been granted political asylum may also apply for a green card. Political asylum is granted when someone is afraid to live in his or her home country because of persecution or the possibility of persecution.
As you can see, there are many potential paths to getting a green card, depending on your specific situation. If you would like to learn more, or if you’d like help with this process, please get in touch with us today!