If you’re interested in obtaining a green card in the United States, this typically means that you are looking for the fastest way, or the least amount of processing time required, to obtain your documentation. There are tons of way to apply for a green card that can be approved within a couple of weeks to a couple of years, depending on the route you take.
However, the path you take to obtain your green card ultimately depends on what you are eligible for. You can choose to be sponsored for a green card through a job opportunity, a family member who has a U.S. citizenship, starting a business, or even applying through the diversity visa lottery.
You’ll need to find the best option depending on what category you fit into, as there is not a direct way for everyone to apply to become a green card holder. Here are three ways you can obtain a green card in the United States.
1. Employment Immigration
If you intend to come work in the United States, you can try to obtain a green card based on employment. The way the United States processes these green cards has a lot to do with the skill or ability you can offer.
First priority is for those who are widely recognized in the professional teaching or researching world, those who obtain an extraordinary ability, or CEOs of multinational companies. You can also receive first priority if you can provide a skill that has a current shortage, such as a registered nurse or doctor.
Second priority is for those who have an exceptional ability, those who have an advanced degree or those recognized as exceptional researchers or professors. Second priority is also given to those who have advanced degrees or exceptional abilities and are involved in activities that can benefit the national interest of the United States.
Third Priority is given to those who are skilled, hold a bachelor’s degree or are considered unskilled workers.
2. Family Based Immigration
If you have family member that is either a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you may be able to obtain a green card through your relationship with them. It’s important to note that distant family will not be able to sponsor you. Eligible sponsors may include:
Relatives of a United States Citizen such as a parent, spouse, unmarried stepchild or child, step parent, or brother or sister.
Relatives of a Green Card holder such as a parent, spouse, unmarried stepchild or child, step parent, or brother or sister.
3. Become an Investor
If you want to start a business and can invest at least $500,000 in any type of commercial enterprise that will create 5 full-time jobs, and benefit the United States economy, you may be eligible for a green card as an investor.
To apply for any of these green cards, you’ll need to fill out the corresponding application, and send in supporting documentation. If this application process sounds a little confusing, get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer to make sure you’re filling out the right paperwork, so you’re not delayed or denied from becoming a green card holder.