Different Ways to Become a Permanent Resident

Different Ways to Become a Permanent Resident

There are different ways to become a permanent resident in the US. As you can probably imagine, some are easier than others. Most will involve a lengthy application process and will usually take about a year or so.

To help you decide which is right for you, here’s a quick rundown of the different ways to become a permanent resident in the US.

Different Ways to Become a Permanent Resident in America

We won’t focus too much on the process of each residency route, as we already have plenty of information on our site. Instead, we’ll provide a brief summary to help you narrow down your options.

Have Family Members in the US

The first option is to have family members in the US. These can either be permanent residents or full citizens – both allow immediate family members to move to the US. However, citizens can also help more distant family members apply.

Within this category, we can also consider marriages. Marrying a US citizen allows you to fast-track the process somewhat, although the application is a bit more in-depth. After all, marriage is one of the easiest ways to get a Green Card fraudulently, so USCIS is quite particular about it.

What happens when USCIS finds Marriage Fraud?

Of course, there’s not much you can do about this if you don’t have any family members already living in the country. So, while it’s one of the more straightforward options, it’s not open to everyone.

Employment with Permanent Resident

The second option is to receive sponsorship from an American employer. The application process itself isn’t too difficult, but not loads of people are eligible. Your potential employer must prove that there aren’t any American residents able to do the job, which is why they’re looking abroad for workers.

As such, it’s generally only open to specific industries. The most common are science- and research-based roles, teaching, and tech jobs. However, if you’re a skilled worker, it’s definitely worth investigating.

It’s worth noting that you don’t need to remain in that same role forever. After 5 years, you can apply for naturalization (becoming a citizen), which would allow you to change jobs. You can leave a job within that 5-year window, but USCIS can revoke your Green Card.

Adjustment of Status

One of the different ways to become a permanent resident that isn’t spoken about much is adjustment of status. In short, it means moving to the US on a temporary visa and then turning it into a Green Card.

However, not all temporary visas can be converted into permanent residency. For example, you couldn’t enter the US on a tourism or business visa and expect to be allowed to stay. There are quite specific criteria for proving you’re eligible for adjustment of status, hence why it’s one of the least-discussed options.

For example, it’s more common for people who entered the country as asylum seekers or refugees. It can also be used for marriages if the foreign partner entered the country on a temporary visa. Either way, it’s arguably one of the less straightforward options.

Adjustment of status requires you to have a dual-intent visa. This essentially means that it can be converted into permanent residency. USCIS doesn’t advertise which visas are dual-intent, but it’ll typically be seasonal workers and spousal visas. However, it’s one of the riskier ways into permanent residency, so it’s not worth banking on.

Permanent Resident via the Green Card Lottery

Finally, we have the Green Card Lottery. This stands out from the other different ways to become a permanent resident because its criteria are much less strict. For starters, you don’t need a US-based sponsor for your application. Instead, you just need to be from a country with low rates of immigration to the US.

As the name implies, it’s drawn as a lottery. So, even if you enter and meet all the eligibility criteria, you’re not guaranteed to win. However, it’s still an attractive option for many because it doesn’t restrict you to a particular job or require you to have family in the country.

Your chances of winning a Green Card have never been higher! So what is the chance of winning?

One particular benefit of this method is that you can enter the Green Card Program while pursuing other ways to receive your permanent visa. US GREEN CARD OFFICE can assist you in applying for permanent residency in the United States via the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery.

There are 50,000 Green Cards given out each year, which might sound like a lot, but millions of people apply. As mentioned, though, you can apply alongside other residency options, so it makes a great backup.

Final Thoughts on Permanent Residency

Hopefully, this brief guide on the different ways to become a permanent resident has given you a rough idea of what would be most suitable for you. Permanent immigration can be a lengthy and expensive process, but it’s worth taking the time to consider which method best fits your situation.

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