Eligibility for Green Cards or Permanent Resident Cards

Green Card Eligibility

Green Card Eligibility

Any foreign national is eligible for a Green Card in the United States if they satisfy the eligibility norms constituted by the Congress. The most important thing is that, a person must prove his eligibility and must complete all the formalities in order to establish that he is eligible to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

You may be eligible to get a Green Card if you are sponsored by your US citizen family member, if sponsored by an employer in the United States, by investing in any commercial enterprise in the United States or through refugee or asylum status.

People who do not have US citizen family member to sponsor them or people who have very few chances to apply for a Green Card in the regular way can always apply for a Green Card through the Green Card Lottery.

An individual is required to satisfy certain eligibility norms to get a Green Card and to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

If you wish to get a Green Card or become a lawful permanent resident in the US, the primary conditions are that

  • you must be admissible into the US;
  • you must be eligible for any one of the immigrant categories as per the Immigration and Nationality Act;
  • you must possess an approved immigrant petition; and
  • you must have an available immigrant visa.

You can enter the United States based on your relationship with your US citizen family member, based on your employment offer or through some other immigrant category. The USCIS has allotted a fixed number of visas for each immigrant category, every year.

Green Card Eligibility through US Citizen Family Member

The immediate relatives of the US citizen are not required to wait for a visa number to be available and there is no restriction in the number of visas in this category. Such immediate relatives are the parents of the US citizen, US citizen’s spouse and children below 21 years of age who are unmarried. Other qualified family members must wait for an available visa number in their category, in order to apply for legal permanent resident status in the US.

Get a Green Card through Job offer in the US

If you are offered an employment in the United States, you can apply for lawful permanent resident status here. There are five preference categories through which you may qualify for permanent resident status, through employment in the United States. To get a Green Card through an employment offer, you must be sponsored by the employer who is hiring you.

Refugee and Asylee Status in the US

People who are admitted into the United States as refugees or asylees can apply for lawful permanent resident status, one year after their entry into the country as a refugee or an asylee.

Green Card or Diversity Visa Lottery Program

Green Card lottery program is considered to be a good opportunity for eligible immigrants to obtain a Green Card or to become lawful permanent residents in the United States. The US Department of State conducts the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery program every year. This program offers 55,000 immigrant visas to people across the globe. But there are also certain countries that are not eligible to enter this program. Those are the countries that had sent more that 50,000 immigrants to the US over the past 5 years.

The official DV lottery, mainly aims to diversify the US population, thus creating an opportunity for eligible immigrants to live, study and work permanently in the United States.

If you are applying for an immigrant visa, you must prove that you are admissible to the US. Certain grounds of inadmissibility are constituted by the USCIS such as, issues related to health, criminal background and few other grounds. Certain people are considered ineligible to enter the United States as lawful permanent residents due to such reasons. People who are considered to be ineligible can apply for a waiver and to excuse inadmissibility using certain USCIS forms.

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