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Immigration - How To Get A Green Card In The US

Immigration - How To Get A Green Card In The US

Globally, the USA is one of the largest countries. A lot of expatriates from across the world long to visit this country for one reason or the other. As a foreigner in the US, there are certain requirements you need to meet to become a permanent resident or work legally in the country.

The US is very strict with its immigration laws, immigrants should abstain from any illegal entry into the country as the country is known to hand out severe punishments to visa offenders. To live permanently in the US, you will need an immigrant visa also known as a green card. This card allows you to live and work in the country without any restrictions.


There are several ways that you can obtain a United States green card. Below are the top seven that you can legally acquire a green card in the United States.

Best Ways To Get A Green Card In The US

1.    Marriage

Marriage is one of the common ways that you can obtain a United States green card legally, but there are certain requirements attached. It is broadly categorized under the family-based immigrant visa. The process requires that first, you must have a close family member who is up to the age of 21 and is a US citizen or a Permanent resident, ready to sponsor you.

The intent of the marriage must be genuine because if found to be triggered by immigration purposes, there are consequences. So many immigrants have explored this option to gain green cards in the United States.

The family-based immigration visa is divided into two:

  • Immediate relatives: This visa type is based on close family members who are permanent residents in the US or US citizens. Examples of such people are your spouse, child, or parent. Note that the number of family members immigrating through this category is not limited and the entire process takes around a year to complete.

  • Family preference: This visa type is mainly for distant family members who have someone resident in the US or a US citizen having some certified relationship with the immigrant. The number of possible immigrants under this category is limited every fiscal year and the processing takes a lot of years to complete.

2.    Investment

Another way that you can get a United States green card is by investing in the country’s economy. Normally, investors who want a green card are required to invest at least $500,000 and create a minimum of ten new jobs to help the nation. This can be achieved under the EB-5 direct investor program, though there have been some modifications lately. There is a possibility that the required fund for investment will increase to $900,000 within a few years. 

3.    Job Transfers

This is not a very common way of obtaining a green card, but yes, you can get a United States green card through this category. First, you must be working with an internationally recognized brand with a subunit or headquarters based in the US. 

You could gain your way into the US if transferred from another country by your employer who is a permanent resident in the US or a US citizen and must have the intention of giving a managerial or any executive role in the company. Your employer must have been actively doing business in the US for at least one year and must possess a verifiable business relationship with you as an executive of the company in another country. The process is a bit hectic, but it is worth it.

See Also: 15 Most Sought-After Jobs In Canada

4.    Education

Gaining a United States green card as a student in the country requires some level of hard work and dedication. Students who have completed their study programs in the – bachelor’s program or master’s program, are given a year post-graduate work permit often referred to as Optional Practical Training. This is to allow them to figure out what their next step in life should be.

International students who would like to continue their stay in the US can through their bosses apply for an H1B work Visa. Upon approval, they can convince their bosses to apply for Labour certification from the Department of Labour on the basis that there is no American available and willing to take up their jobs. If the request is granted, the students can then apply for a green card. The whole process calls for time and patience especially when you have no close relatives in the US to sponsor your application.

5.    Job Application

You can get a United States green card as an immigrant working in the country. First, you need to secure a job from a US-based employer who is willing to assist you to get a work visa. However, there is another workers' program that is not entirely reliant on the jobs offered.

As earlier highlighted in the steps to get a United States green card as a student, the process is similar for workers who are going into the country based on a job offered. You will have to undergo the same application process as the post-graduate student in the US to secure your green as you will be operating mainly as an H1B applicant. The process can be very stressful.

Another application process that is not entirely reliant on the job offered is the EB2 application. As an EB2 applicant, your green card is based on certain criteria that must meet some of the nation’s interests. It is expected that you possess an advanced degree or some exceptional qualities that meet the national interest waiver requirements. The process is a lot easier compared to H1-B applicants.

See Also: All You Need To Know About The Canadian Federal Skilled Workers Program

6.    Achievements

The US recognizes globally celebrated individuals who have done something amazing or contributed immensely to the growth of a widely appreciated project. These individuals are usually renowned celebrities who might have won a Grammy, Oscar, Pulitzer Prize, or something of that sort which shows an incredible ascension to the peak of a profession. Such great achievements can earn you a United States green card.

7.    Lottery

This is one way that the government of the United States is bringing people from countries with a little number of individuals represented in the country. Applicants from these countries are encouraged to apply under the yearly Diversity Green Card Lottery to get a chance to live in the US.

For more details on how to get a green card in the US, visit the official US immigration website


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