When people think about obtaining a green card, they usually think about marrying an American citizen or resident. However, they don't often consider other ways to become eligible for one. It's essential to know that there are several different ways you can meet the qualifications and obtain your own green card! We'll discuss some of the most common paths to becoming eligible for a green card and how you can go about doing it!
What Is a Green Card?
A green card is also called a permanent resident card. This document allows you to live and work in the United States without having the risk of deportation or separation from your family. If you are a permanent resident, you must have a valid Green Card on you at all times. Green cards are generally only valid for ten years at a time, and you will need to renew your green card status or apply for citizenship before its expired.
Who Is Eligible for A Green Card?
There are many different ways you can become eligible for a green card. We've listed a few of the most
common ways below.
1. Green Card Through Family
If you are a spouse or relative of a U.S. citizen, then you can apply for a green card in the United States.
2. Green Card Through Employment
Suppose you're an immigrant with abilities in athletics, business, arts, or science, a physician who will work in a clinical practice full time, or an investor who is actively investing or has invested $500,000 to 1 million dollars in a new business that will create new full-time positions for U.S. citizens. In that case, you may be eligible for an employment green card. If you already work at a job, and your employer extends full-time employment, they can sponsor you for your green card.
3. Green Card Through Asylee or Refugee Status
If you were admitted to the United States as an asylee or refugee and have lived in the U.S. for at least one full year, you are able to apply for a green card.
4. Green Card For Special Circumstances
There are other unique situations that may make you eligible for a green card, depending on your specific situation, such as if you are the victim of abuse, human trafficking, crimes, or if you're identified as a special immigrant. Again, the specific eligibility criteria will vary, so make sure to understand the UCSIS guidelines before applying.
How Do I Apply for A Green Card?
Do you meet the requirements mentioned above? If so, it’s time to move forward with applying for your green card. To complete your application, you’ll need to fill out various forms and pay various fees. However, if you miss one of the requirements or fill out the paperwork wrong, your application can become rejected. Thankfully, you can get in touch with an experienced San Diego immigration lawyer to make sure you're filling out the proper paperwork and receiving the green card you need!