Ways to get a Green Card

If you’re looking to become a United States resident, you need to obtain a green card. Also known as legal permanent residency, a green card confers on you the right to live and work legally in America. There are several ways to get a green card but the three easiest ways are through your family members, a job or as a refugee or asylee.

Category 1:  Through a family member

This is one of the most common ways to get a green card and also the easiest. If you’re a close relative to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, your relative can petition for you to be able to live in the United States.

According to the law, spouses, unmarried children, less than 21 years of age and parents over 21 years old qualify as close relatives and their family member who is a U.S. citizen must legally establish the relationship by filing Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative. You will then follow up by filing Form I-485 for an “Adjustment of Status”.

However, the process above is for those are already in the United States. If you’re living outside the United States, you will have to go through consular processing which is handled by the U.S. Department of State after which you will be issued a visa and then granted permanent residency when you’re admitted into the United States. The process is slower if your immediate relative is a permanent resident, but not yet a U.S. citizen.

Category 2: Through a job

This category is broad because it includes several instances apart from getting a job which includes investments and specialized jobs. For starters, under this category, you can obtain a green card if you received a permanent job offer which will require your employer to be a part of your petition. Your employer will need to get a labor certification and fill out Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker.

Furthermore, investing in the U.S. economy is one of the ways to get a green card as entrepreneurs are eligible for permanent residency if they have at least $1,000,000 or $500,000 in a targeted job area. The business must create at least 10 jobs for U.S. citizens. You will need to fill out Form I-1526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

In addition, people who have extraordinary abilities and are very talented may also get a green card. The same also applies to Afghan or Iraqi translators who assisted the U.S. government or a member of the armed forces.

Category 3: As a refugee or asylee

This is one of the common ways to get a green card. If you’re an immigrant who entered the United States as a refugee or an asylee or as an immediate family member of an asylee, you can apply for a green card. While asylees are not required by law to apply for green cards, refugees must apply for applying for green card status 1 year after entering the country. In this case, the form to fill out would be either an I-130 or I-140.


After examining the ways to get a green card and identifying the best way to get a green card, you will need to do the registration which is a cumbersome process. However, to avoid possible mistakes and omissions, it’s better to use the service of a reputable company in filling the forms.

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