If you plan to live and work legally in the United States, it is necessary that you work and get what is called a green card. Unfortunately, for many, this important permit can take a long time, depending on the circumstances. Some have waited only a few weeks, while others have been waiting for years.
But what separates those who can get such an important permit quickly from those who are waiting? In other words, what is the easiest way to get an American Green Card?
To answer this question, we need to look at the four simplest and most common ways to get one:
1. Sponsored family (immediate family)
The fastest and easiest way to get a green card is to establish a connection with the immediate family. And although anyone with immediate family in the United States can apply for and eventually obtain a Green Card, priority is given to children under 21 years of age of current U.S. citizens.
Family sponsored Green Cards are the easiest way to go if you are a legal child under 21 years of age. If you are a spouse or parent, you may find the process less complex and time-consuming.
To do this, the family member who is a U.S. citizen must complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The immigrant(s) must then wait until a visa number is available before they can apply for legal permanent residence.
2. Sponsored employment
Fortunately, the United States recognizes this and allows other relatively easy ways to obtain a green card, such as employment sponsorship.
Of course, any immigrant can be sponsored by their employer, but if you are at the top of your field, you can easily go through the Green Card process.
High Priority workers, as they are called, are people such as internationally known celebrity artists, CEO’s or executives, professional athletes and award-winning scientists,. If you fall into this category, you will probably not wait long to get a visa.
Whether or not you are a priority worker, your employer or sponsor must complete an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Foreign Workers on your behalf. After that, you must again wait for an available visa number.
3. Diversity Visa
If you come from a country with few numbers in the United States, you may be registered in what is known as the Green Card “lottery”.
The Diversified Immigrant Visa Program is part of the Immigration Act and offers 5,500 visas to foreign immigrants whose country is represented in small numbers in the United States.
If you meet the minimum requirements, do not have a criminal record of concern and have violated the Immigration Act or any other similar issue, you can apply for a diversity visa for a chance to be selected for the Green Card.
To do so, you will need to apply for a diversity visa lottery on the website of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Consular Affairs. You can come back to the site to see the results of the lottery.
*It is important to note that the DV entry window for 2018 ends on November 6, 2018. A new entry will start in October of 2019, stay alert and get prepared.
4. Refugee Visa
If you are a refugee fleeing difficult conditions in your country of origin, you can get a Green Card in just one year. While this may seem like a long time, it is really one of the fastest ways to do it.
To stay in the United States, you must apply for a Green Card at least one year after the date you were granted refugee status by completing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Change Status. You must also have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after you were admitted as a refugee; your refugee status has not ended; and you have not already obtained permanent resident status (green card).
Getting a Green Card is not easy, even if you fall into the above categories. You will still have to complete paperwork, gather the required documentation and experience some setbacks, if you fall into one of the above categories, it can make the process much shorter and less painful.
And if you encounter any obstacles, it may be a good idea to talk to an immigration lawyer to find the best path for you.