Issued by the American immigration services, the Green Card, or green card, is a highly coveted administrative document. If you dream of moving to the United States, this card is one of the best ways to get there. Indeed, the green card confers on its holder the status of permanent resident. You will therefore be able to live and work on US territory without any restrictions. Only problem, obtaining this card is a real obstacle course. Here’s how to get this precious sesame. You’ll see, it’s not that simple.
Green Card: what is it?
The green card, as underlined, is a identification document issued by the American immigration services, more precisely by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This card gives its holder the right to settle and live legally in the USA without necessarily having a visa. To shorten it, it’s a permanent resident card. The holder has the same rights and duties as US citizens except the right to vote. You can learn all about the green card here.
Obtaining the Green Card: the different ways to get there
The green card can be obtained in various ways. It can last a few months or even years. In fact, it all depends on the country of origin and the type of request. Thus, you can obtain the Green Card by:
- The wedding ;
- Family ties ;
- The lottery ;
- The investment.
Marriage is the most common and easiest way most immigration applicants obtain the Green Card. By marrying an American citizen (or a citizen), you can easily claim to obtain the green card for the USA. However, the issue of it is not immediate.
Indeed, once married, the spouses pass an interview with an officer of the immigration services. The latter will decide on the legitimacy of the marriage. Following this, the spouse applying for permanent residence will be granted a temporary green card valid for the two years of marriage. After this “trial period the immigration services will send the couple a form to fill out in order to ensure that the two are still married. It’s only after confirmation that a definitive Green Card is issuedto the foreign spouse. This one is valid for 10 years .
Remember that this whole procedure is intended to limit sham marriagesbecome too frequent in the context of obtaining a green card.
Through family ties
Apart from marriage, it is also possible to obtain a green card through the sponsorship of a relative who is already a citizen or permanent resident. Indeed, an American citizen aged 21 or over can apply for a Green Card for a member of his family. Thus, if you have a relative (father, mother, children, brother or sister) who is already a citizen, aged 21 or over, he can apply for a green card by mentioning family reunification and being your “sponsor”. To do this, he must complete a form (the I-130) and provide all the required documents. These will be sent to immigration services.
Note that registration fees are required during the process. Note also that the time required to obtain the Green Card and its validity period depend on the relationship.
You can get the green card through employer sponsorship . For this to happen, it must prove that you are uniquely qualified for the positionthat you intend to occupy. It will also take demonstrate that the hiring will have no negative impact on the U.S. job market. For this reason, the Department of Labor will carry out a check through a procedure called “labor certification”. As soon as this certification is obtained, the employer can initiate the process for applying for the green card.
He must first fill out a form (that of the Immigration Petition for Alien Worker), collect the required papers and then pay the registration fees. Records and fees must be sent to USCIS by mail or electronically. The employer will then receive an acknowledgment of receipt followed by a message indicating the final decision. If the file is accepted, the National Visa Center (NVC) will notify you of the steps to follow regarding the immigration visa application.
This is the simplest solution, but also the most risky. 55,000 green cards are issued by the USA each year via a lottery . This lottery called DV Lottery(Diversity Visa Lottery Program) has been running since 1994. It attracts more than 10 million participants every year.
To participate, all you need to do is go to the official website of the DVLottery and complete the registration form. Note the confirmation number that will be sent to you then visit the site regularly to see the evolution of your status. You should normally receive a response after one year at most . If you are selected, you will be able to start the process to obtain an immigration visa.
Should it be mentioned, Canadian, UK and Northern Irish residents are not allowed to participate in this lottery.
This is one of the most certain ways to obtain the Green Card. Indeed, by investing in the USA, you will more easily obtain the Green Card. You have two options: application as an active investorand the application as a passive investor.
If you are applying as an active investor, you will need to inject at least one million dollars into a business requiring you to employ at least 10 people. If these conditions are met and you also provide proof that the project is indeed viable for at least two years, you will receive a Green Card valid throughout this period. It should also be noted that it is renewable at the end of the said period (2 years).
If you are applying as a passive investor, you will need tomake an investment of at least $500,000 in a US state-accredited needy organization.