5 Ways of getting a Green Card

For centuries now, the United States has been a popular country to visit, and for almost as long, people have been wanting to live and work in the USA. The American Dream is an idea known and loved by people around the world, and the first step to achieving it is to get through the red tape. It can be a difficult process that takes time, paperwork, and patience, but if it is what your really want, it will feel like the easiest thing in the world. It can even lead to becoming a United States citizen. Here is how to get a green card.

1. If A Family Member Lives In the USA

The easiest and most popular way to get one is to have a relative petition to grant you one. All they have to do is fill out Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative). Once it's correctly filed and approved, you can come to the USA and fill out a second form, which will qualify you for a card. If you can't get your United States family member to participate, you can also complete this process exclusively on your end. You just have to work with the US Immigration Services, and they can help you through the process.

2. If Your Employer Lives in the USA

If you are offered the chance to work in the USA, your employer can petition for you to get a green card. The employer just has to fill out a form on your behalf. Once it's approved, you'll get a visa that will allow you to come and fill out the rest of the paperwork. You can complete this process within or outside the US, but you will need your employer's help regardless. If you are living in the US at the time of this process, you will also need to complete several items such as the USCIS Medical Exam and an inspection.

3. If You are an Entrepreneur

If you are a wealthy business man or woman, you can invest in the USA's economy and earn the right to live there. The investment has to create or maintain at least 10 jobs and has to be at least $1,000,000, or it can be at least $500,000 in certain, qualifying areas. Once that's done, you can come over and even bring your spouse and children.

4. If You are a Refugee or Asylee

Unfortunately, some people are living in tough times. If you are a refugee or asylee, you can get a green card after one year. A refugee is someone that moved to the USA because of either natural or political hardships in their country. An asylee is someone that is going through a more personal hardship in their country such as religious persecution or being the victim of an unjust law. A refugee is required to get a card after one year, but an asylee is simply allowed to apply for one if he or she wants to do so.

5. If You Win the Green Card Lottery

The Green Card Lottery is probably the most surprising ways to get into the States. The technical name for it is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. This program is designed to raise diversity in the USA. Each year, 50,000 visas are given randomly to citizens of countries that don't normally immigrate to the US. Once they are selected, they complete the rest of the process with help from the US Immigration Services.

What happens after getting a Green Card?

That's how to get a green card. Once you have one, there are a few things to keep in mind, like for example that as a Green Card holder you have some benefits. It proves your eligibility to work, allows you to apply for both a social security card and a driver's license.

While with other visas or U.S. Immigration statuses leaving the U.S. may cost you your the benefit of living in the States, if you are a Green Card Holder you are allowed to leave the USA as often as you like as long as you are not gone for longer than one year. But maybe, the greatests benefit of all is that you are also eligible to start the citizenship application. Before you can apply for naturalization, you must have held your card and lived in the US for at least five years, speak and write English, have sufficient knowledge of US history because you will have to pass the Naturalization Test. Once you are a citizen, you will get all the rights and responsibilities of every US citizen. If you do not submit a citizenship application, you must apply to renew your Green Card.

Keep in mind that you are required to renew green card. If it is a 10-year card, it will need to be renewed every 10 years, and you should start the process at least six months before it expires. If it is a 2-year card, you can't renew it, but you can try to remove the conditions on it as long as you start that process at least three months before it expires.

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