Tags: Immigration | path to citizenship | green card | ways

Path to Citizenship: 9 Ways to Get a Green Card

By    |   Sunday, 02 Aug 2015 12:02 PM

The first step on the path to citizenship for an immigrant is to get a green card, which provides permission for them to permanently live in the United States.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are four different categories of ways to obtain one of these passes: through family, a job, refugee or asylee status, and miscellaneous measures.

With a green card, an individual can work, live indefinitely, and enlist in the military, according to Legal Zoom. After five years, a green card holder can apply for citizenship.

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Here is a more detailed list of ways to get a green card:

1. If an immediate relative is a U.S. citizen. This includes spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of a requester who is 21 or older. Every citizen can be given a green card for immediate relatives.

2. If a family member is a U.S. citizen in a preference category. The preference categories are unmarried children over the age of 21, married children of any age, and siblings of the 21-or-older petitioner. Congress allocates a certain amounts of green cards in the preference category, so there is typically a waiting period.

3. If a family member is a green card holder. The holder’s spouses and unmarried children are including in this category.

4. Other special categories include if the petitioner is a battered spouse or child, a K and V nonimmigrant, a child of a foreign diplomat in the United States, or a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen.

K nonimmigrants include fiancées of U.S. citizens and their children. V nonimmigrants are permanent residents’ spouses or children that live and work in the United States while waiting to get immigrant status.

5. If a job offer requires work in the United States, an employer may assist in obtaining a green card for the employee.

6. Investors who wish to create new jobs in the country may be eligible for permanent residency.

7. Self-petitioners might obtain green cards if they are labeled under “Aliens of Extraordinary Ability” or are granted a National Interest Waiver.

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8. Some jobs can qualify for a green card because of their specialization.

Professions in this area include some translators, broadcaster, religious workers, international organization employees, and others.

9. If an individual is an asylee or refugee in the United States, they may apply for a green card after one year of entering the country.

This also includes qualifying family members of those granted asylum.

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The first step on the path to citizenship for an immigrant is to get a green card, which provides permission for them to permanently live in the United States.
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