Applying for and receiving a green card for permanent residence in the United States is one of the most difficult things to achieve. Luckily, there are a number of different avenues one can take to get a green card. It all depends on the status of the individual and the quality of the application. The application must be done slowly and exactly to the specifications of the Department of Homeland Security.
Here are the 11 different ways that a foreigner can apply for a green card:
- Family Based Immigration: This is the most basic type of application. It means either that the applicant is the relative of a US citizen: spouse, unmarried child under 21, parent or stepparent, unmarried son or daughter under 21, brother or sister). The applicant could also be a relative of a green card holder: a spouse, an unmarried child under 21, or unmarried son or daughter over 21.
- Employment Based Immigration: The second most popular type of green card application, employment based immigration is usually done via an employer in America that sponsors the individual’s application. This implies that the individual has extraordinary skill in some capacity, whether in the sciences, business, or academia. There are a number of different types of employment visa depending on the skill area of the applicant, or the relevance of the individual’s skill to the benefit of the US. For example, there is an Employment visa with National Interest Waiver that allows an employer to justify the presence of a foreign national in America because their skill and ability with benefit the United States. Another option is PERM, a permanent labor certification procedure that ensures an employer run ads for a vacant position before sponsoring a foreign national.
- Green Card Lottery: This is simply a lottery conducted by the US Department of State.
- Investors: Applies to those who can contribute an investment of $500,000 in a commercial enterprise somewhere in the States. This includes bringing at least 5 full-time jobs along with the operation.
- Adoption: Children who are under 16 that are adopted by a US citizen or a green card holder.
- Registry: This applies to anyone that has been residing in America since January 1st, 1972.
- Private Bill: For those whom Congress deem to have overwhelming humanitarian reasons to have permanent residence status.
- Diplomats: Allotted for diplomats who fear returning to their country of origin.
- Asylum: Allotted to foreign nationals who can show that a return to their home country would pose a grave risk to their well-being.
- Refuge: For those displaced by famine, war, or any major form of unrest.
- Special Immigrants: Those who fall under a comprehensive list of occupations or positions that have also been of some service to the US.