Moving to the USA and becoming a permanent resident is a dream for thousands of people. But obtaining a Green Card can be much harder than some people think. There are several routes that anyone wishing to live in the US can take, but not all are suitable for each individual. For many, an employment-based visa is the best way to enter the country and stay permanently. However, there are other options that people should examine that could be a better fit for them. There are possibilities to reunite with family or to invest in the economy by starting a business. If you want to gain permanent residency in the States, these are the routes you can take.
Uniting with Family
People who have relatives in America may be able to move there on that basis. There are several ways that your family connections could give you a route into the country. Both relatives of US citizens and people related to Green Card holders can get permanent residency. For example, a spouse, child (minor or adult) or parent can be brought to the US to live with their relative. Brothers and sisters can also be reunited in the US to live in the same country. Green Card holders can have their spouse, or unmarried children brought to the US too. Children can include biological, adopted or stepchildren. If you want to move to America on the basis of a relative, you may wish to contact an immigration and naturalization lawyer. A family immigration attorney is an expert in immigration law who can help you determine whether you can get a Green Card and assist you through the process.
If you don’t have any relatives in the USA, finding a job there is often the next best thing to do. There are several different employment-based visas that will help you to find your home in the US. For example, people who are deemed to have extraordinary ability in certain areas may be able to get a Green Card. They might be athletes or artists, for example. Professors and researchers who are outstanding in their field also have a good chance of permanent residence. Managers and executives of multinational companies also receive first preference.
Immigration officials also consider people with advanced degrees and those with exceptional ability. These include professors and researchers in various disciplines. They also look for people who can enter with a National Interest Waiver. These people are engaged in activities that benefit the national interests of the USA. After these categories, professionals with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) are next in line. Skilled workers and unskilled workers are considered too. You may also be able to enter on a Schedule A visa. This includes a list of occupations where there is a shortage of workers. They include registered nurses and physical therapists.
Some people wishing to move the US may have sufficient funds to do so on an investment visa. Are you an entrepreneur who can invest $500,000 in a commercial enterprise? That could be one route you can take. The company needs to be in a targeted employment area. It should also benefit the US economy and create at least five full-time jobs. Outside of these employment areas, you need to be able to invest $1,000,000 and create at least ten jobs. This is a route that only a select few people will be able to afford to take. Unless you already have the funds, it’s probably not one of the options you can consider.
Green Card Lottery
If you’re feeling lucky, you might consider entering the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is open to applicants from selected countries. It makes 55,000 Green Cards available to randomly selected people each year. You also need to meet certain requirements for education or work experience. The lottery is usually held in October. It targets countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
There are several ineligible countries, such as the United Kingdom, China, and Peru. The countries that are eligible can change each year, so it’s important to check them. For example, Nigeria was made ineligible in 2015. Countries that have been ruled out can be made eligible again in the future. For example, Poland was made ineligible in 1998 and eligible in 2002. Then it was ineligible again in 2007 and eligible again in 2013.
Diplomats, Asylum and Refugee Status
Some people seek permanent resident status in the US on the basis of an unsafe home country. High-level diplomats may try to remain in the United States. They must be unable or unwilling to go home due to persecution or fear of persecution. The same process can be used for other foreign nationals who have been granted asylum. Refugees may wish to apply for permanent residence in the US. They need to have been residing in the United States for a year before they’re eligible to apply for a Green Card.
There are also a number of categories that you might fit into to get a Green Card. They include religious workers, former US Government employees, special agricultural workers, and more. You could also be a medical graduate, a former US armed forces employee, or even an abused spouse of a US citizen. These categories can span a broad range of requirements. They run from qualifications and employment to relationships. It can be difficult to determine whether you would be eligible for one or more of these routes. If you’re not sure whether you can get a Green Card using one of these methods, you need an immigration attorney. Getting US residency can be complicated, so it’s always a good idea to check with a professional. They can tell you which is the right choice for you.
If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at the Department of Homeland Security’s website. There you will find all the information you need on different ways to get a Green Card. But don’t forget to contact a lawyer to ensure that you do everything right.