Ways to Obtain a Green Card

For foreign nationals coming to the United States, there are a plethora of qualifying avenues to obtain a green card. A green card allows the holder to live and work permanently in the United States. Generally speaking, the ways one may qualify for a green card can be broken down into several categories (family based, employment based, green card lottery, investors, and special immigrants). These categories can further be broken down to showcase the common routes with which foreign nationals come to the U.S. and obtain a green card.

  • Family Based Immigration
    • Relatives of U.S. Citizens
    • Relatives of U.S. green card holders
    • Spouse or Fiancé of U.S. Citizens
  • Employment Based Immigration
    • Workers with exceptional or outstanding abilities (and a CV to prove it)
    • Workers qualified to work in a shortage occupation
    • Foreign medical graduates
  • Green Card Lottery
    • Green Card Lottery winners, through the DV program
  • Investors
    • Foreign entrepreneurs who invest a substantial amount into an established U.S. business and create full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. citizens
  • Other Immigrants
    • Religious workers
    • Political asylum seekers
    • Permanent residents who left the U.S. for more than 12 months

Of these methods, the quickest way to obtain a green card is marriage to a U.S. Citizen. The process itself is roughly six to nine months, after which a temporary green card is given to the foreign national and permanent resident status can be applied for. However, in order to qualify for the necessary K-1 visa to come to the U.S. for marriage, the couple must have more than two years of documentation that confirms the validity of the relationship. Immigration through family reunification is the next fastest, and usually takes nine months to five years to obtain a green card.  

If you or a loved one is looking to come to the U.S. using one of these avenues, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

This is a California Business Law blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate and is a licensed attorney in California (USA).

You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 

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