Green Card holders are known as 'Lawful Permanent Residents' of the USA ('Immigrants'). A Green Card is the official card issued by the US Immigration Service (USCIS) to foreign nationals granting them permanent residency in the USA. A Green Card allows you to live and work in the United States of America. It is officially called Form I-551, the Permanent Resident Card.
The four (4) Main Ways to Obtain a USA Green Card are:
1)GREEN CARD EMPLOYMENT & SPONSORSHIP » ADVANTAGES:- You get Both an 'official' Green Card, plus, a Job in the USA !!
~ You do NOT need to be the U.S. for an employer to file your Green Card application.
~ You do NOT need to have a college degree to get a Green Card.
~ You do NOT need to be a current employee of the company who files your Green Card.
~ Your Employer (sponsor) typically Pays ALL the application and relocation costs.
One of the great things about employment based Green Cards is; You get BOTH a USA Job and a Green Card. For More information about Employment Based Green Cards
2)WIN A GREEN CARD - GREEN CARD LOTTERY - DV LOTTERY » The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, more commonly known as the "Green Card Lottery" is a program mandated under Section 203 (c) of the US Immigration Act of 1990. The Green Card lottery program makes available 50,000 permanent resident immigrant visas (Green Cards) by random selection through an annual "Lottery" For Full details about the Green Card Lottery Click Here
GREEN CARD THROUGH A FAMILY MEMBER » Recommended if:- you must have an immediate family member who is a US Citizen or a Green Card holder.
If you want to become a Green Card holder based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process. There are also a number of elgibility requirements and preference categories Click Here for Full Details
4)GREEN CARD BY MARRIAGE » Recommended if:- you are marrying a US Citizen or Green Card holder.
~ Marriage to a United States Citizen - the K visa category is intended for use by both a spouse of a US citizen and by the spouse's children. Although, the same process that takes 6-8 months abroad, takes 12-18 months in the US, the applicant may work and live in the U.S. from the date of filing. Those who apply abroad must wait out side of the US during the entire processing period Click Here for Full Details
~ Marriage to a current Green Card holder - the introduction of the V1 and V2 nonimmigrant visas allows certain spouses of Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and the children of those spouses to travel to and to stay in the US while they wait for the final completion of their immigration process Click Here for Full Details
* Green Card 'Eligibility' requirements are not only different for each Green Card category listed above, they are also divided further, and based on a Green Card “Preference System”.
Other Ways to Get a Green Card Include:
Green Card for Special Immigrants Occasionally, laws are passed making green cards available to people in special situations. The current special immigrant categories are:
~ religious workers for legitimate religious organizations
~ foreign medical graduates who have been in the United States since 1978
~ former employees of the Panama Canal Zone
~ foreign workers who were formerly longtime employees of the U.S. government
~ retired officers or employees of certain international organizations who have lived in the United States for a certain time, plus their spouses and unmarried children
~ foreign workers who have been employees of the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong for at least three years
~ foreign children who have been declared dependent in juvenile courts in the United States, and
~ international broadcasting employees.
Green Card for Refuge and Political Asylum The U.S. government offers refuge to people who fear, or have experienced, persecution in their home country. The persecution must be based on the person's race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. A person still outside the United States would apply to be a refugee; a person already in the United States would apply for political asylum. The qualifications for refugee status and political asylum are similar. However, if you are fleeing only poverty or random violence, you do not qualify in either category.
The number of refugees allowed into the United States each year is established by the U.S. president. There is no limit on the number who can receive political asylum, except that only 1,000 immigrants will be accepted whose asylum claim was based on opposition to coercive family planning practices.
Green Card for Temporary Protected Status
The U.S. government may decide to give citizens of certain countries temporary safe haven in the United States when conditions in their homeland become dangerous. This is called Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS is similar to political asylum, except that it is always temporary and will never by itself qualify you for a green card. To find out who is eligible for TPS, visit the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly called the INS) at www.uscis.gov. Click on Immigration Services and Benefits, then on Temporary Protected Status.
Green Card for Amnesty The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) gave amnesty to aliens who had been living in the United States illegally since January 1, 1982, by making green cards available to them. The deadline for filing applications was May 4, 1988. However, the "LIFE" Act created new opportunities for certain applicants whose cases have not yet been decided, and who were members of the "CSS," "LULAC," or "Zambrano" class action lawsuits. If you believe you may still be eligible for amnesty, check with an immigration attorney immediately.
Green Card for Special Agricultural Workers
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 also contained an amnesty green card opportunity for agricultural laborers who worked in the fields for at least 90 days between May 1, 1985 and May 1, 1986. The filing deadline for these temporary residency applications was November 30, 1988. However, late applications may be accepted under rare circumstances. Check with an immigration attorney if you think you are eligible in this category.
Green Card for Long-Term Residents and Other Special Cases
The law allows certain people who have lived illegally in the United States for more than ten years to obtain permanent legal residence. If you have been in the country illegally for more than ten years, you must show that your spouse or children -- who must be U.S. citizens -- would face "extraordinary and exceptionally unusual hardship" if you were forced to leave the country.
If you believe that you meet this requirement, you should consult a lawyer before going to USCIS to make an application. If you don't fall clearly into this category, you may cause your own deportation by making yourself known to the authorities. In fact, this remedy is realistically available only to persons already in immigration court proceedings. USCIS has no obligation to act on any other application, and it may sit in its files for years -- or until the law changes against you.
An alternate remedy called "registry" allows people who have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 1972, to apply for a green card. To qualify, you'll need to show that you have good moral character and are not inadmissible. Your stay in the United States need not have been illegal -- time spent on a visa counts as well.