Thousands of foreign nationals are making the decision to permanently make the move to the United States and actively exploring their options to do so. When applying for US permanent residency, you will be completing a US Green Card application which is proof that the holder is a lawful permanent resident.
The two most common ways to get a Green Card would be through the following two methods:
All family sponsorship applications are still being accepted and processed.
Family members of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident are now allowed to cross the U.S. border as long as they show no signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick.
Stay home for 14 days from the time you arrived in the US from international travel
On average, the I-130 (family sponsorship visa) filed by your sponsor takes between 6 to 12 months to be processed. The USCIS processes the petition on a first-come, first-served basis. Your sponsor can expedite the process by submitting the form as early as possible
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR SPONSORSHIP
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a U.S. Green Card using a family-based petition for having relatives living in the U.S. as U.S. citizens or permanent residents (also known as Lawful Permanent Resident or LPR). Certain family members may be eligible to sponsor or petition you for a Green Card
Family-Based Immigrant Visa Categories
There are two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories:
These visa types are based on a close family relationship with a United States citizen.
IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
H1B visa cost:
These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with an LPR.
There are specific steps to follow in order for a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident to successfully sponsor a family member. These are:
Filing the Petition
o begin the sponsorship process, the U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident family member will need to mail a visa petition on USCIS Form I-130, along with accompanying documents, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The LRP must prove the family relationship is real.
USCIS Makes a Decision
Once USCIS receives the petition, the officers will consider whether to approve or deny the request. If approved, the case file will be forwarded to the National Visa Center for further processing. If denied, it is possible for the petitioner to file a new petition after determining what changes need to be made to encourage an approval. Upon approval, USCIS will forward the immigrant’s case file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
Preference Relatives Wait for Visa Availability
This step only takes place if the petitioner was in the Family Preference group. Relatives that are not considered “immediate” are not eligible for permanent residence right away, as there are annual limits on the number of Green Cards that can be approved. Thus, the immigrant joins a waiting list, and will usually wait at least a year before learning if a visa is available.
Immigrant Applies for Visa or Green Card
If the petition has been approved, and a visa has become available, the immigrant would then submit an application for permanent residence. This is usually done by applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate outside the United States, and then once in the states, the immigrant would apply for the Green Card. During the ensuing process, called “consular processing”, the immigrant will be required to fill out various forms, provide documents and take part in a medical examination
USA PR based on employment
You may have a US employer who is willing to petition you for permanent residence. In this case, most applicants are usually already in the US on a valid temporary work visa such as on an L1 Visa or an H-1B Visa. Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each year for newcomers who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the US
Types of Employment-Based Petitions
Employment-based petitions are broken down into five categories: EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. Each category is made up of sub-categories that describe the kinds of occupations that qualify for the specific visa.
EB-1: Priority Workers
Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
Outstanding professors and researchers
Multinational managers or executives.
EB-2: Professionals and Persons of Exceptional Ability
Professionals holding an advanced degree
Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
EB-3: Skilled and Unskilled Workers and Professionals
EB-4: Certain Special Immigrants
Many subgroups, including:Ministers of religionCertain Retired International Organization EmployeesPersons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
EB-5: Immigrant Investors
This visa category is for capital investment by foreign investors in new commercial enterprises in the United States which provide U.S. job creation. Learn more about the EB-5 visa process here.
The 4 Steps to Applying for an EB Visa
There are specific steps to follow in order for a U.S. employer to successfully petition a foreign worker to become a permanent U.S. resident. These are:
Employer or agent obtains a labor certification approval
Employer files petition with USCIS
USCIS sends petition to the National Visa Center (NVC)
Immigrant applies for an immigrant visa or Green Card
1: Employer or agent obtains labor certification approval
For most employment categories, the sponsoring employer must get a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor which certifies that no qualified U.S. workers are available or willing to do the job that the immigrant will be hired to do.
2: Employer files petition with USCIS
If the labor certification is approved, the employer then needs to file Form I-140, the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. Individuals from the E-B1 category have the opportunity to file their own petitions.
3: USCIS sends petition to the National Visa Center
Once the petition is approved by USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), who will begin pre-processing the applicant’s case.
4: Immigrant applies for an immigrant visa or Green Card
the applicant’s prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labour . Once received (if required), the employer then files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category. (NOTE: Persons with extraordinary abilities in the Employment First preference category are able to file their own petitions.) If the applicant is already in the U.S., he or she could apply for an Adjustment of Status. Otherwise, the applicant would go through the process of getting a visa through an embassy or consulate.
US Green Card Eligibilty
To qualify for a Green Card you must be eligible under one of the categories that allow immigrants to become Permanent Residents. Once you find the category that fits your situation, you will need to get information on eligibility requirements and how to apply through that category. Find the eligible categories below.
How to Apply for a US Green Card
The steps you must take to apply for a Green Card will vary depending on your individual situation. When you are applying for a US Green Card to become a Permanent Resident there are two main questions:
1. Are you eligible to apply for permanent residency?
2. Are you inside or outside the United States?
US Green Card Processing Times
the processing time for permanent residence to be more lengthy than most other visas. According to USCIS, an application for permanent residence (Form I-485) will take anywhere from 6 months to 33 months to process.
: US Visa Processing Times for 2021- The processing time for a US visa depends mainly on which visa you are trying to get.
Depending on the category you are applying under for a Green Card your required documents will vary. If you are applying through family you will need your family to show proof of support. If you are applying through Employment you will need your employment proof.
To apply for a US Green Card, you must be eligible under one of the following categories below. Once you find the category that may fit your specific case, click to learn more information on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and whether your family members can also apply with you!
To apply for a US Green Card, you must be eligible under one of the following categories below. Once you find the category that may fit your specific case, click to learn more information on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and whether your family mebers can also apply with you!
Green Card through Family sponsorship
Green Card through Employment
Green Card as a Special Immigrant
Green Card for Refugee or Asylee
Green Card for Human Trafficking & Crime Victims
Green Card for Abuse Victims
Green Card through Other Categories
Green Card through Registry
Green Card Interview
When you are applying for a US Green Card you will need to go through an interview. This interview will have a series of questions that you will be assessed on. You must pass the Green Card Interview to qualify to become a Permanent Resident.