How to obtain a Green Card

How to Obtain a Green Card: the Complete Eligibility Categories

There are various ways through which one can get a green card as the United States offers several ways to become a permanent resident. As you may already know, a green card authorizes you to live and work permanently in the U.S. If you’re wondering how to obtain a green card, below is a list of the ways that you may qualify for a green card.

Green card through family

You are eligible to apply for permanent residency in the United States if you have a relative who is a U.S. citizen and can petition for you. You must either be a spouse, parent or child under the age of 21 years of a U.S. citizen. You can also apply if you’re a fiancé, fiancée, widow or widower of a citizen of the United States.

Green card through employment

You are eligible to apply for a green card if you have received a job offer in the United States after your employer must have petitioned for you. Immigrant investors with $500,000 or $1,000,000 who can create at least 10 jobs in a targeted employment area may also apply.

The green card as a special immigrant

Special immigrants refer to people who either are coming to the United States as a member of a religious denomination to work for a non-profit organization or for servicemen in the U.S. military. People who worked as Afghan or Iraqi translators are also eligible and may apply for a green card.

The green card as a refugee or asylee

A refugee or asylee status is another ‘how to obtain a green card’ method. People who have been admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or asylee can apply for a green card one year after their admission.

Green card for human trafficking and crime victims

Under this category, foreign nationals who assist law enforcement with investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases and those who are have been victims of certain crimes that have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.

Green card through the registry

This category offers people who have been residents in the United States since January 1, 1972, the ability to apply for a green card even if they’re illegal immigrants. It is a relatively unknown method of how to obtain a green card. Based on the registry which is a section of the immigration law, these individuals are eligible for a green card provided they meet other requirements.

Green card through green card lottery

Every year, the United States issues 50,000 immigrant visas to people who apply for the U.S. Electronic Diversity Lottery. The lottery is administered by the Department of State and is open to foreign nationals who come from eligible countries. This method of how to obtain a green card makes it possible to gain a permanent residency without spending huge sums on fees.

Green card through other categories

This category is a mix of several sub-categories. People who may be eligible to apply under through this category must meet one of these key requirements: be an American Indian born in Canada, be born to a foreign diplomat, paroled into the U.S. as a Lautenberg parolee and many others.

Which of the ways are the easiest?

Wondering how to obtain a green card easily? The easiest ways to obtain a green card are via a family relative, a job or through the green card lottery. However, applying through the green card lottery which is free is the most cost-effective option.


Being able to work and live in the U.S. permanently is a dream for many foreign nationals. Since there are several ways to obtain a green card, it’s advisable to go through several categories and pick the one that suits you the most. But if you’re looking to participate in the green card lottery which is one of the easiest options, consider hiring the services of green card experts to maximize your chances of winning.

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