The green card is a permanent resident card in the United States. It provides the same rights and duties as an American citizen.
The holder of a Green Card is allowed to live and work on US soil without any restrictions. He or she may become a US citizen a few years later.
The 5 main ways to obtain the Green Card
- By marriage
The easiest way to get the Green Card is to marry an American citizen. The authorities issue a temporary Green Card for the first two years of marriage and then a permanent resident card once this period has elapsed. It is not automatic. Spouses go through an interview with an immigration officer who will be in charge of validating the eligibility of the marriage. After the two-year “probationary period”, a form is sent by the immigration service to check whether the two people are still married. If this is the case, the final Green Card is granted to the foreign spouse. The period of validity is 10 years.
All the steps related to the application for a Permanent Resident Card must be taken by the American citizen (the procedure will depend on whether the spouse is already present in the United States).
- By sponsoring a family member
You don’t have to get married to get the Green Card! If a family member is already a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder you can have it. An American citizen who is 21 years of age or older can apply for a Green Card for a family member. The length of the procedure depends on the family relationship.
The U.S. citizen or permanent resident who sponsors the Green Card application must file an immigration application at the USCIS Service Center.
- By the sponsorship of your employer
Your Green Card application can be sponsored by your employer. In this type of situation, it is necessary to prove that the candidate is the only one selected for the position and that his or her hiring does not have a negative impact on the U.S. labor market. Verification is carried out. It is called the Labor Certification.
Once the certification is obtained, your employer must begin the Green Card application process (complete Form I-129 and supporting documents).
- By lottery
Each year, the United States gives 55,000 immigration applicants the Green Card through the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery.
The list of participating countries changes each year and is available on the official website. To participate in the lottery, you must go to the official website and fill out the registration form. Beware of fraudulent sites where you will be asked to pay financial compensation.
- By investment
Every year, the United States gives 10,000 EB-5 visas to entrepreneurs who invest and create jobs on U.S. soil. To obtain it, you must invest $500,000 in a regional center for a fixed term and create at least 10 full-time jobs for Americans.
The entrepreneur must justify that the money for his investment is derived from legal transactions. He must also submit his tax statements (for the last five years).