The United States is a country that offers many permanent job opportunities for different types of people - professionals, skilled and unskilled workers, people with extraordinary abilities, and investors.
According to the United Nations, the United States has the highest number of immigrants of any country in the world. In 2019, studies showed 15.5% of the entire US population was composed of immigrants.
If you want to achieve the American dream of living and working in one of the country’s 52 unique states, you may want to consider applying for a Green Card.
Every year, the United States approves over a million Green Card applications, from the tens of millions they receive.
Getting a Green Card is the first step to gaining full US citizenship. Begin your US permanent resident application today with our Immigration Lawyers and you will be one step closer to living and working in the United States of America.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is an identification card (ID). Having a Green Card (officially known as a Permanent Resident Card) allows you to live and work permanently in the United States.
It functions as proof that its owner is entitled to full immigrant benefits, and that they have permission to permanently live and work within the United States.
Who Qualifies or is Eligible for Permanent Residency in the United States?
The most common methods for securing permanent residence in the US are through family and employment.
For applicants applying through family connections, it typically involves a sponsorship or petition from a family member who is already a US citizen, or someone who holds a Green Card.
The family sponsor can be their husband, wife or children. As well, parents and siblings can sponsor the applicant, if the person looking to obtain a Green Card is under the age of 21.
Those applying through their employment are often already living in the US on a work visa. In order to be eligible and stand out against other applicants, workers should:
- Be highly skilled or respected in their field
- Be a professor, researcher or well-educated professional
- Hold a position of importance in the company for whom they work
- A doctor, willing to work full-time in an under served clinic designated by the government for a set period of time
- Be investing or have invested at least $1 million dollars in a designated business, which will gainfully employ at least 10 full-time qualified employees
A full list explaining requirements for eligibility for workers can be found here.
Business owners and investors who are planning to invest at least $1 million dollars into a new business venture (or $500,000 in rural or areas with high unemployment rates) can also apply for Green Cards, as long as the business is going to employ at least 10 qualified full-time employees that are US citizens.
Applicants can also be considered eligible for a Green Card because of other circumstances, such as:
- Marriage (to an existing US citizen)
- Asylum, Refugee or as an escape from abuse in their home country
- Special Immigration Status (Religious works, broadcasters or special circumstance juveniles)
- Being a victim of human trafficking or crimes
- Having resided continuously in the US since before January 1st, 1972
- Diversity Lottery (chosen from one of six geographic regions that have had limited immigration to the US in the past)
Click On the Area that Interests You
- US Work Visas
- Family Sponsorship Visas
- F Visa Category - Family Preference Sponsor Visas
- What are the Requirements to Obtain a Green Card?
- What is the Processing Time for a Green Card?
- Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of the Green Card Application
- Green Cards » Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment?
- Begin Your Journey to Permanent Residency in the US Today!
US Work Visas
These US employment-based visas are for individuals or families/family members, businesses/business owners or investors who are seeking permanent residence in the US and who want the opportunity to work and contribute to the US economy.
If you are considering moving to the United States for work and would like to know your visa options, keep reading to see which work visa applies to you and your situation.
EB-1 Work Visa for Immigrants with Extraordinary Ability
The EB-1, a permanent work visa is for you if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. For more details.
EB-2 Work Visa for Individuals with an Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability
Have you achieved an advanced degree or are you an individual who has exceptional ability and you have been offered a permanent employment position in the United States? If so, consider applying for the EB-2 permanent work visa. For more details.
EB-3 Work Visa - Skilled, Professional, and Unskilled Worker Green Card
To qualify for the EB-3 worker visa, you must meet the eligibility criteria for a skilled worker, a professional, or an unskilled worker. The United States offers many such employment positions for individuals who are non-citizens of the US and who want to move to the US on a permanent basis. For more details.
EB-4 - Green Card for Special Immigrants
If the United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS) qualifies you as a special immigrant, you may be eligible for the EB-4 special immigrant worker visa. For more details.
This work visa was created to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. If you have a significant amount of money and wish to invest in a US company, you may qualify for the EB-5 investor visa. For more details. Back to the Table of Contents.
Living apart from your loved ones may be difficult and emotionally painful. If you are a US citizen and want to be reunited with a family member or members, you may be eligible to apply for one of the family sponsorship visas for permanent residence.
There are two groups of family sponsorship visas that US citizens who have family living outside of the country can apply for, provided the family member or members meet eligibility requirements. These two groups are the Immediate Relative visas and the Family Preference visas.
IR Visa Category - Family-Based Immigration or Sponsorship
Do you want to immigrate to the US in order to live with a member or members of your family? The five visas within the Immediate Relative category allow a US citizen to sponsor an immediate relative to live permanently in the United States - IR-1, IR-2, IR-3, IR-4, IR-5.
IR-1 Visa - Spousal Visa
In order to legally bring your foreign husband or wife to the United States to live with you, consider applying for the IR-1 spousal visa. Simply living together and not being married does not qualify you to apply for the IR-1. A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. For more details.
IR-2 Visa - Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a US Citizen
Are you yearning to bring your child who is under the age of 21 to the United States in order to live with you?
The IR-2 visa is an immediate relative visa for unmarried children who are under the age of 21 and are the child or children of a US citizen. If you want your child or children to live with you in the US, the IR-2 may be for you. For more details.
IR-3 Visa - Orphan Adopted Abroad by a US Citizen
If you want to adopt a child from a foreign country and bring that child to the US to live with you, you may qualify for the IR-3 for the foreign child. You must be a US citizen and you must initiate adoption procedures outside of the US. For more details.
IR-4 Visa - Orphan to be Adopted in the US by a US Citizen
The IR-4 visa allows individuals and parents to bring an orphaned child to the US to live with them provided they begin the adoption process in the foreign country where the child lives. For more details.
IR-5 Visa - Parent of a US Citizen Who is at Least 21 Years Old
The IR-5 visa is for you as an individual if you are a US citizen and are 21 years of age or older and want to bring your parents to live in the US. The parent who obtains the IR-5 may live and work permanently in the US. For more details. Back to the Table of Contents.
F Visa Category - Family Preference Sponsor Visa
This visa category is for individuals who are either US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) to sponsor family members to move permanently to the US.
The four visas in this category are for more distant, family relationships and there are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants.
F-1 - Family First Preference
This visa is for unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, and their minor children. For more details.
F-2 - Family Second Preference
Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters aged 21 and over may qualify for the F-2 permanent resident visa. For more details.
F-3 - Family Third Preference
If you are a married son or daughter of a US citizen and you and your spouse and minor children want to move permanently to the US your family may be able to sponsor you. For more details.
F-4 - Family Fourth Preference
The fourth preference F-4 visa applies to brothers and sisters of US citizens, and their spouses and minor children who wish to be sponsored by their family member who is a US citizen, provided the US citizen is at least 21 years of age. For more details. Back to the Table of Contents.
What are the Requirements to Obtain a Green Card?
The applicant must meet one of the eligibility requirements for obtaining a Green Card, or be sponsored by a family member.
Due to the volume of applications, the process is considered very strict. This requires great attention to detail when filling out the applicable paperwork, because a single small error could result in a denial.
Since this is so crucial to the Green Card application process, it is strongly recommended that you contact an immigration lawyer, like the experts at My Visa Source, to ensure all the information is submitted accurately and in the correct order.
This will greatly improve your chances of being selected to become a permanent resident of the US. Back to the Table of Contents.
What is the Processing Time for a Green Card?
Processing times for Green Cards vary depending on several factors:
- The office or service center responsible for processing the file
- The type of non-immigrant visa
- Green Card interview wait times (if applicable)
- Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
- Whether Expedited processing is available
- Whether Premium Processing is available
- Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing and even denials Back to the Table of Contents.
Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of the Green Card Application
While there are many reasons why your Green Card application could be refused, we have listed the top ten most common ones here:
- Current and or past immigration status and history for the US or abroad, including overstaying and unauthorized employment
- Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
- Incorrect or incomplete petition
- Insufficient supporting evidence
- Conflicts with travel documentation
- Health concerns
- Suspicious of malicious intent
- Problems with background check
- Criminal history/Being convicted of a crime/Suspected or known ties to terrorism
- Material Misrepresentation Back to the Table of Contents.
Green Cards » Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long does a Green Card last?
Green Cards grant permanent residence to anyone who has been approved through the application process, however, they need to be renewed every 10 years before their expiration date.
Any permanent residents who are going to be out of the country for more than six months, should apply for a Travel Document (Form I-131) to avoid any issues in returning to the US.
If a Green Card holder is going to be out of the country for more than 2 years or during a period of time when your Green Card will expire, should apply for a special immigrant visa (SB-1) at a foreign consulate or US embassy location to protect their residency status.
Can a Green Card Lead to Getting US Citizenship?
Yes, after either 3 or 5 years Green Card holders become eligible to apply for full US citizenship.
The time necessary to become eligible for the transition from Green Card to US citizenship will depend on the factors that are determined during the Green Card application. Back to the Table of Contents.
Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment?
Congratulations on taking your first step towards becoming a permanent resident in the United States.
The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate the Green Card application process.
Immigration lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.
Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for the United States and Canada, including global immigration.
Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.
Begin Your Journey to Permanent Residency in the US Today!
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