3 Main Ways to Get a Green Card

If you ’ re an immigrant, a green circuit board is a key to becoming a United States citizen. The dinner dress term for a green card is a permanent Residence Card. Having a fleeceable poster allows you to legally live and work in the United States. There are three main ways immigrants can get a green card. You can get one through family members, employers, or as a refugee/asylee. This process is a drawn-out one, but we ’ ll go over what you need to know. class 1 : park Card Through Family class 2 : park Card Through Employer

category 3 : green Card as a Refugee or Asylee

Determine Your Eligibility Category

Immigration laws in the United States were written to provide immigrants with respective methods for getting a green poster. Your eligibility category will determine which path to a green tease you should take. green card road sign A green card road sign. If you are unsure which path to take to permanent residency in the U.S., learn about the three most common ways to get a green card.

Category 1: Green Card Through Family

If you ’ re a close proportional to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, they can petition for you to obtain legal permanent residency. This option is the fastest and most popular way to getting a green wag. U.S. citizens are permitted to petition for immediate relatives, including :

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age 
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old

In addition to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens above, there are the keep up predilection categories for relatives of U.S. citizens and greens card holders :

  • First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters over age 21 of U.S. citizens. 
  • Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children under 21 of permanent residents
  • Second Preference (2B): Unmarried sons and daughters over 21 of permanent residents
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

Your proportional must legally establish the relationship using USCIS Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative. That application is followed by Form I-485, Adjustment of Status ( if you are in the U.S. ). In some instances, both applications can be completed together. If your relative is a k wag holder, this process is the same as for U.S. citizens, but it will probable take longer. Relatives who are not in the United States will have to go through consular action. This means their green cards are issued by the U.S. Department of State. once the Department of State grants them a visa, they will get a green card when they ’ rhenium admitted into the United States. U.S. citizens can besides petition for siblings and marry children over 21. however, that procedure generally takes a lot longer because these individuals are not considered contiguous relatives. If you get married or turn 21 years old, things change, and immigration law states you will have to wait long in order to get a green card through a U.S. citizen relative. There are besides a few particular circumstances where you can get a greens card using USCIS Form I-360 : request for Amerasian, Widow ( emergency room ) of a U.S. citizen, or special Immigrant. These include being a :

  • Battered spouse or child
  • Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen
  • A special immigrant including religious worker, U.S. Armed Forces member, and more categories

Category 2: Green Card Through a Job

This k menu class is reasonably broad because it doesn ’ t entirely manage with your employer. It besides includes park wag opportunities through investments or having a specialize subcontract.

Permanent Employment

Your employer can be part of your petition for a fleeceable card if you ’ ve received a job offer for permanent employment in the United States. The first step is for your employer to get a department of labor certificate with the U.S. Department of State and fill out USCIS Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker. permanent use contracts are broadly only granted to highly skilled workers.

Investors

Investors can get greens cards if they put adequate money into U.S. businesses. foreign nationals who invest at least $ 1,000,000 into a new business or $ 500,000 into a occupation in one of the target employment areas can then apply for their fleeceable tease. ( A regulation that raised the investment amounts to $ 1,800,000 and $ 900,000 respectively was vacated by a court recently. ) The commercial enterprise must create at least 10 permanent jobs within the United States. The imprint to fill out would be Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.

Extraordinary Abilities

An highly rare path to obtaining a fleeceable card is by having extraordinary abilities. This green calling card is known as an EB-1A visa. These applicants are considered the best in their field. Nobel Prize winners and Olympic athletes are two of the most likely groups to attain a green tease in this manner.

Category 3: Being a Refugee or an Asylee

Immigrants who arrive in the United States as a refugee or an asylee can apply for a fleeceable card one year after entering the state. This besides applies to immediate family members of asylees. hera ’ s what refugees and refuge seekers need to know :

  • Refugees must submit an application for a green card after being in the country for a year.
  • Asylees are not required to apply for green cards.
  • Refugees or Asylees typically do not need to file an immigrant petition such as an I-130 or I-140 with the USCIS if they meet the requirements to apply for a green card. They can file for I-485 adjustment of status directly.

Filing the Immigration Petition

once you ’ ve determined which class you fit into, you ’ ll have to file the correct request before you apply for a k wag :

  • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and green card holders must complete Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative.
  • If you’re applying through your employer, they must file Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for an Alien Worker.
  • If you’re investing your way to a green card, you must file Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by an Alien Entrepreneur.
  • If you’re in the particular immigrant category that includes a widow(er), you will complete Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.

Refugees and asylees typically do not need to file an immigrant request if they meet the requirements to adjust status and get a green poster.

Checking Visa Availability

once the correct prayer has been filed, you can move along in the action. One of the play along steps is to ensure there are visas available for you. A visa allows you to legally enter the United States and is a prerequisite for applying for a green menu. The number of visa available varies by each immigrant class and by what area you are coming from :

  • Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens do not have to wait long for a visa because there is an unlimited number of visas for this category.
  • There are a limited number of visas for relatives not considered immediate or for those applying through employment. You will be sent a “priority date” and put on a waiting list until your visa is available.
  • Immigrants on this waitlist can check their place in line using the “Visa Bulletin” issued by the State Department each month.

Filing Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status

In most cases, the application for a green card for people who live in the U.S. is Form I-485. however, there are a few immigrants—such as those in the clobber spouse or child category—that require a different human body to adjust their status. It ’ second essential to complete this application correctly without any mistakes because a flimsy error can lead to costly delays or rejections by the USCIS. FileRight can make the paperwork process more accessible by walking you through the application step by dance step. For example, if you ’ ra applying for a park card through an immediate family extremity who is a U.S. citizen, you can normally complete Form I-485 at the same time you complete Form I-130. The file fee for Form I-485 as of May 2021 is :

  •  $1,140 for a majority of applicants
  •  $750 for applicants under 14 years old who are filing with one or both parents
  •  Free for refugees and asylees

Applicants between ages 15 and 78 not filing as an asylee or refugee will besides be charged a biometric tip of $ 85, which is paid simultaneously.

What Will Happen at Your Biometrics Appointment

After correctly completing your application for a green card, you ’ ll be sent a receipt detect informing you that the USCIS received your paperwork. After that, you ’ ll receive communication telling you when and where you will have to go for a biometrics appointment. You will have to provide immigration officers with your fingerprints, a photograph, and an electronic touch. This information is used to conduct a backdrop hindrance.

What Will Happen During Your Immigrant Interview

After your biometrics appointee is complete, the USCIS may send you a letter informing you of an consultation with an immigration policeman. The detect you receive will include the go steady, time, and localization of your interview. Make sure you show up to your appointee early or on time. After the past administration made immigration enforcement a priority, more immigrants who are seeking green cards are being required to complete an interview with an immigration policeman. At your interview, you ’ ll likely have to answer questions about your application. In some cases, the relative or employer who petitioned you for the greens calling card may be called for the consultation deoxyadenosine monophosphate well. It ’ s crucial that you bring any relevant documents to your appointee, including travel documents and passports.

What to Expect When the Final Decision Is Made

once you ’ ve completed all those steps, you should receive a final decision. The prison term it takes from the begin to the end of this process can vary enormously. The USCIS will review your entire case, including your application, background, and interview ( if you had one ). once a final decision is made, you will receive a notice in the mail. If your application is approved, you will receive the subsequent steps on completing the march and obtaining your k card. If your application gets denied, you may inactive be able to appeal the USCIS decision. however, you will not receive a k circuit board at the prison term of denial.

Is It Hard to Get a Green Card?

evening for the most well-qualified green tease applicants, the action of being approved can be long and complex. One small err can result in you having to start over from square one. This is why many immigrants choose to work with immigration attorneys. however, immigration lawyer fees can be steep. not everyone can afford it. FileRight can help you avoid mistakes and save money by using our immigration help software. This avail can minimize your hazard and help you get your green card faster.

What Is the Easiest Way to Get a Green Card?

The easiest way to get a park card is through the U.S. Department of State ’ s Green Card Lottery. however, this is not the most probable direction you ’ ll get a green card. Each year, the Diversity Visa Program issues 55,000 greens cards. Applying is slowly, but it ’ randomness well to have a backup design in casing you aren ’ t one of the lucky winners. Diversity visa are available alone for citizens of selected countries with a low count of immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years.

Can You Get a Green Card Quickly?

If you qualify as an immediate relative, you may only have to wait adenine little as two months to get a green card. Who qualifies as an immediate relative ? Spouses of U.S. citizens, children under 21 years of senesce whose parents are U.S. citizens, and the parents of children who are U.S. citizens over 21 are all eligible.

Applying for Citizenship

once you are living in the United States with a green wag for long enough and meet all early requirements, you can apply for citizenship. While both a green poster and citizenship are permanent, there are total benefits to becoming a citizen.

Citizenship Is Less Expensive

It ’ s a requirement to renew your green card every 10 years, and each time it costs $ 540. If you lose or damage your green batting order in between, that ’ s another $ 540 each time. The cost of citizenship is a erstwhile fee of $ 725. After that, no more immigration fees for the rest of your life.

Citizenship Has More Family Benefits

Citizens can bring more relatives to the U.S., and fast. There is an outright numeral of greens cards for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. That means their wait for a U.S. green card is importantly less than the relatives of a permanent wave resident. Citizens can besides bring more relatives to the U.S., including parents and siblings.

Citizens Can’t Be Deported

The U.S. government can and does deport permanent wave residents. Certain crimes may make you eligible for exile. Avoid the risk and become a citizen. Learn more about the benefits of U.S. citizenship.

Citizens Can Vote

United States citizens have an equal voice in public vote and effecting the laws under which they must live.

Citizens Have a U.S. Passport

Citizens can travel outside the U.S. with a United States passport. A U.S. passport often makes it easier to travel to some countries visa-free than it would be for passport holders of many other nations.

Use FileRight to File Your Forms Accurately the First Time

Are you having trouble oneself determining if you are eligible to complete the paperwork required for a green circuit board ? Use FileRight to answer your questions and help you get it done promptly. FileRight ’ s eligibility quizzes can make it comfortable to determine if you can complete Forms I-130 & I-485. once you ’ ve settled on your eligibility, FileRight will guide you through the application process one question at a time, checking your application for common errors along the way. FileRight even offers you entree to an immigration lawyer who can provide a more exhaustive review of your application to ensure you ’ ve completed it correctly. Get started by taking our fleeceable card qualification quiz today !

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