How to Obtain a U.S. Green Card

Jerry Lee Erickson

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Immigration Attorney

Contributor Level 7

Posted almost 5 years ago. 2 helpful votes

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How to Obtain a U.S. Green Card

1

Obtaining a U.S. Green Card Through a Family member

As you've probably heard, there are several different ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States, and to get what everyone refers to as a "green card". Each category is fairly complex and has its own rules and requirements. The purpose of this article is to briefly discuss some of the possible options. This will be the first in a series of articles that review the various options for obtaining permanent resident status. Today I'm going to highlight some of the options; I'll dig deeper into the details in upcoming articles. 1. Green card through family Some foreign nationals receive green cards through family members. You may be eligible to get a green card through a family member who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The first step for the sponsor is to file a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) to establish the relationship to the person who wishes to immigrate to the United States. Some applicants, who are already lawfully in the United States, may

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Obtaining a U.S. Green Card Through Employment

Many foreign nationals obtain their green cards through their employment with a US company. The process involves several steps and is not a quick process. Most applicants being sponsored in this category will require a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that there are no U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available in the geographic area where the immigrant is to be employed. As with family based immigration, the US law also limits the number of immigrant visa numbers available each year for people seeking permanent residence through employment. 3. Green card through refugee status or asylum If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence (a green card) 1 year after your entry into the United States in this status. If you were granted asylum in the United States, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence 1 year after the grant of your asylum status. Th

3

Obtaining a U.S. Green card Through Refugee Status or Asylum

If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence (a green card) 1 year after your entry into the United States in this status. If you were granted asylum in the United States, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence 1 year after the grant of your asylum status.

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Conclusion

Each of the above processes are involved and not without pitfalls. Stay tuned and I'll review what you need to be aware of in terms of the processes, timelines and best practices.

Additional Resources

AILA; USCIS

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