This is the first post in the “Getting a Green Card Series”, where I will review the green card application process. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts (http://bit.ly/2EHFpt), the Green Card is a registration card that is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (”USCIS”) to Legal Permanent Residents of the United States. It identifies the cardholder as an alien with permanent resident status in the United States.
So, you may be wondering, “How do I get a green card?” The first step to getting a green card is to determine if you qualify for one. There are a number of ways to qualify. Most people get green cards because they are either related to a US Citizen or a permanent resident. Others may get their green cards through their jobs, or if they have unique education and skills, outstanding talent or a large chunk of cash ready to invest in a business. Finally, the remaining categories include; visa lottery winners, asylees and refugees, special immigrants (such as religious workers), and individuals who entered the U.S. before January 1, 1972 and have continuously lived in the United States since then.
If you are related to a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, then your family member may sponsor your Family-Based Petition if you belong to one of the following categories of Family-Based Residency:
1. Immediate Relative – spouse, child and parents of U.S. Citizen
2. First Preference – unmarried sons and daughters of US Citizen
3. Second Preference – 2 subcategories:
3A – spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of permanent residents
3B – unmarried son or daughter of any age of permanent residents
4. Third Preference – married sons or daughters of US Citizens
5. Fourth Preference – brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens
In our next post, we will define each category and explain the Quota System for Family-Based Green Card Petitions.