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On this page you find information about green card eligibility, requirements and procedures. There are several ways of obtaining a green card in America. First, one can obtain a green card by marriage to a United States citizen. Second, professionals or workers with certain skills may apply for a green card based on their education and experience. Third, foreign nationals may get a green card by playing an annual American green card lottery. Next, a refugee or asylee is eligible to submit an application for a green card based on their immigrant status. Foreign investors may apply for a green card by investing at least half a million dollars in the United States economy. Finally, getting a green card may be possible pursuant to an immigration reform, if such reform is available at the time of the application for a green card. Most common ways of getting a green card is through employment or family immigration.

Green card through employment

The green card processing starts with an application that gives basis for the green card eligibility. For example, an employment based green card processing for a member of profession holding an advanced degree under second employment based (EB-2) preference category starts with an employer’s petition for permanent labor certification on Form ETA-9089. Once the permanent labor certification is approved, the employer petitions for an alien on Form I-140. Once Form I-140 is approved, the alien is eligible to apply for a green card on Form I-485. An alien becomes a lawful permanent resident once the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service approves the alien’s green card application on Form I-485.

Aliens of extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors, researchers, certain multinational executives, managers or applicants eligible for a national interest waiver may self petition for a green card based on their academic achievements and experience under the first employment based (EB-1) preference category. These aliens do not need an employer or a permanent labor certification on Form ETA-9089. Aliens in EB-1 category are eligible to self petition on Form I-140 and once it is approved apply for green card.

Professionals and skilled workers applying for green card under employment based third preference (EB-3) need a permanent labor certification ETA-9089 and Form I-140 approved before they can apply for green card.

Green card through a family member

Spouses of American citizens, minor unmarried children (under age of 21), parents of American citizens who are at least 21 years old and spouses of deceased American citizens who were married for at least for two years at the time of the spouse death are eligible to apply for green card as immediate relatives of a United States citizen. Eligible green card applicants can apply for an immigrant visa at a United States Consulate abroad or can adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident if they are in the United States. Immediate relatives are not subject to any visa quotas. Thus, they can start green card processing immediately.

Other family categories such as unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizen, spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, married sons, daughters and siblings of American citizens must wait for their visas to become available before they can apply for a green card while in the United States or for an immigrant visa abroad.

To be eligible to receive a green card an applicant must pass a green card medical exam, have a sponsor who will assume financial responsibility for the green card applicant. In addition, the green card applicant must be a person of good moral character. Once hired, our green card immigration lawyer will prepare all relevant green card documents and will accompany you to your green card interview.