Starting a new life in the USA is what many of us dream about, some of us have achieved and others are trying everything they can to get there. Now, why do you need a green card and why couldn’t you just get a visa to live your dream? Visas are just a temporary solution and come with strings attached, although some can be extended under certain circumstances. You’ll always be dependent on government rules and most likely the company that sponsored you. A green card is a permanent resident card allowing you to live and work in this great nation for as long as you want. You’re also free to choose the kind of (self) employment that suits you best.
Here are the 5 most common ways to get a green card.
Sponsorship by Family
If you have close family members who are US citizens, they can sponsor you for a green card. And yes, you guessed it – becoming a close family member through marriage is probably one of the fastest ways to get a green card, however approval is not guaranteed or automatic. You would still have to formally apply for it.
Green Card Lottery
Every year, the United States are giving away over 50,000 green cards worldwide. It is called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Lottery). There are only a few countries that are not eligible to participate and that’s because these countries already sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the US within the last 5 years. Best of all, this lottery is F-R-E-E of charge! So, if you’re serious about it, give it a shot. Here’s the link to the official site. There will be a specific time frame when you will have to enter the lottery, so setup your reminders.
Sponsorship by Employer
Many green card holders that I know got the green card through their employer. Your employer will have to proof that you are valuable to the company and that they couldn’t find an American that could do your job. Documentation will have to be provided that they actively tried to find people and held job interviews. Also somebody has to pay all the filing and legal fees, so if your employer isn’t willing to pay for it you could maybe offer to pay parts of it as an incentive. I’m sure it’ll open up some opportunities for both parties. Win-win!
Invest a Million Bucks
You don’t have a million of spare change? Well here’s a half off deal: immigration laws in states with a high unemployment rate only require an investment of $500,000 in a commercial enterprise. You’ll then get a temporary green card and have to be invested for a minimum of 2 years. During that time your investment needs to create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs.
Foreign nationals who believe they are going to be prosecuted in their home country on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social groups or political opinion, if they return to their country, can apply for asylum in the US. If granted, they’ll receive a green card.
There are a few more ways to get a green card (being a diplomat, getting adopted, having resided in US since 1972), but the 5 above are the most common ones.
How to Get a Green Cardis a great handbook that helps you understand all the requirements for getting a green card before starting your application.
Do you know about any other ways to get a green card that is not mentioned above? Please comment below.
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About This Blog
Hi, I'm Dan and I came to America in 2005 as a trailing spouse.
With this blog I share my thoughts and experience about the expat life in America. No matter if you're a new or veteran expat or just love everything USA, you'll find plenty of tips and ideas in this blog. Enjoy!