The United States is considered by many to be a land of opportunities. As such, obtaining US citizenship is a common goal to get US Green Card Residency because of the freedom it offers.
Part of its draw comes from the job opportunities, but also from its standard of higher education and world-leading healthcare facilities. Granted, you need money for these, but some things are worth paying for.
Citizenship and legal permanent residency typically starts with a Green Card. However, these are coveted things and demand almost always outstrips supply.
To understand if this is the right journey for you, here are some important details about Green Card residency.
What is a Green Card?
A US Green Card is basically a permanent visa, and once an individual has obtained it, they have the right to live in US on a permanent basis. The correct term for a Green Card holder is lawful permanent resident (LPR), which obviously differs from someone who lives in the country permanently but didn’t enter through lawful routes.
Being an LPR holds many benefits compared to being a temporary visa holder. First, you get access to healthcare and education facilities, along with a work permit. As the name implies, this allows you to legally apply for and hold a job in the US.
Perhaps the best thing about a US Green Card is that an individual does not have to forgo their original citizenship for it. This means that a person can have Indian citizenship while having a Green Card, meaning they have access to two countries.
How to Obtain Green Card Residency
There are few circumstances worldwide where you can simply move to a country and start living there. The best example is the Schengen visa area of the European Union. However, the USA doesn’t really offer this kind of opportunity.
The closest thing it offers is to Canadian citizens, but even they need a job lined up or family ties to move to America permanently.
As such, you must follow an application process to get a Green Card, which almost always includes some kind of sponsorship. Here are some of the ways in which an individual can get a US Green Card.
Employment with a Green card
The first option to get a US Green Card is by getting an employment sponsor. In short, this means applying for (and being offered) a job in America from a US-based employer. It’s a great way into the country if it applies to you, as America has fairly good pay rates for the types of jobs it covers.
But, this is the crucial thing. Not just anyone can take up work in the US. Rather, you must be considered a skilled or specialist worker, although these categories are open to interpretation.
The most common roles it covers include medical work, law, engineering, architecture, and so on. There are also categories for fashion models, artists, and entertainers, but these are less common.
Eligibility criteria can be strict depending on the job. For example, you must hold a degree or specialist experience. Also, there must be a valid reason for your would-be employer to look outside the US.
However, if this category applies to you, it’s a popular method of getting US Green Card residency, and it allows you to bring family, too.
Another way of obtaining US green Card residency is through relatives who have US citizenship. Such relatives can either be your spouse, children or even step children. These are classed as immediate relatives.
They can be US citizens either through birth or naturalization; it doesn’t matter. A common route is for foreigners to marry a US citizen, as this also speeds up the Green Card residency process. Not only is it easier to enter the country, but it also reduces your time to citizenship by 2 years.
It is best to first check with the Immigration Services regarding the reliability of your relatives to go further in the process of getting a US Green Card. There are age and eligibility criteria that restrict certain relatives from sponsoring a Green Card application.
If you are wealthy, investing in an American business is an easy way to get Green Card residency. Most countries have residency by investment (golden visa) programs, and the US is no exception.
You need to invest a minimum of $50,000 into an American company, either as cash or assets. The purpose is to stimulate growth and create jobs, although how the company does this doesn’t matter to your application. Better yet, you don’t need to have any existing business or financial ties to the company.
The investment limit is as much as you want, although it’s often capped at $1 million. Investing more money can speed up your residency application, although this isn’t a guarantee.
While obtaining a Green Card via an EB-5 investment is arguably the easiest route, it’s obviously one of the least common. Most people enter the US through work or family rather than by investing lots of money.
Special cases for obtaining a Green Card include refugees and asylum seekers. However, it also includes specialist temporary visa categories, such as U-visas, T-visas, and VAWA.
While the Green Card application process is mostly the same as for others, there is one big difference. Typically, special cases don’t need an external sponsor, but instead sponsor themselves.
Also, eligibility is slightly different and is generally decided on an individual basis. For this kind of Green Card residency application, you’d want a lawyer to help you.
Apply for the Green Card Lottery
If you don’t believe any of the above apply, a final option is to apply through the Green Card Lottery. Importantly, you don’t need work or family ties, making it a viable option for many.
Better yet, it’s easy to apply through a certified immigration services agency, such as US Green Card Office. You can apply for the Green Card Lottery today to get the best chances of being selected.