Getting an American Green Card gives you the opportunity of living in the United States on a permanent basis. If this is your goal, you have come to the right place. In this article, we would be showing you everything you need to know about getting an American green card.
In the US right now, there are over 1 million applicants that apply each year to come to the country for the purpose of working, living, or studying. These approaches have been one of the most popular ways people migrate to the U.S.
The downside though is that it can be quite challenging, but with the right strategy, you can have a high chance of success. This article doesn’t necessarily promise you an American green card but shows you what you need to understand which would help you to acquire one.
When applying for a US green card, you can go about this by taking 2 routes, which are:
- Family-based Sponsorships
- Employment-based Sponsorships
Before we delve into what the above two routes entail, let’s briefly look at what sponsorships mean. Sponsorships are ways in which a person, organization, or body takes up the responsibility of catering to a person’s affairs either, studying, working, or living.
When you are sponsored to study, it means the person sponsoring you has full responsibility for taking care of your tuition fees as well as other expenses that are involved.
This is however depending on the agreement made. When it comes to getting an American green card, the two listed approaches are the most popular ones to take.
Family-based sponsorship is one way in which an immigrant can come into the United States to live permanently. If you have a family member living in the US who is a permanent resident of the country, you can as well apply for a visa that provides you the privilege of joining them.
Family-based sponsorship approach gives you the opportunity of reuniting with your family. This is based on one condition. Your relative must be a close family member such as a spouse, brother, sister, wife, husband, parents, grandparents, etc.
The first step to taking this approach is making sure you are eligible for a family-based sponsorship. To do this, you would need to either consult an immigration officer or check for yourself if you are eligible to apply on a government website.
Once you find that you are the right fit, all you need to do is check for the requirements for the visa you are applying for and follow the process.
Employment-based Sponsorships (EBS)
The employment-based sponsorship program is considered to be one of the best of the two approaches. If you are thinking of coming to the USA to live on a permanent basis, then this should be the approach that is best for you.
There is five major employment-based sponsorship for getting an American green card as an immigrant.
These visas are given to immigrants with special kind of status as deemed by the US embassy. These EB visas can be seen below:
- EB visa for skilled and unskilled workers
- EB visa for special immigrants
- EB visa investors
- EB visa for priority workers
- EB visa for advanced degree professionals
Verify what category you belong to and proceed to check the requirements for each category. The next step after you have verified your eligibility status is actually applying for the visa.
Applying for an American Green Card
One of the major concerns with applying for an American green card is if you are eligible to do so. So once this is out of the way, you can then proceed to apply for it.
You would need to contact the USCIS, if you have chosen the employment-based sponsorship, your employer would be the one to contact the USCIS on your behalf.
They would submit a petition to the USCIS of their intention of sponsoring you to work in the United States. Once you have been given a work visa and you are now working in the US, you can then apply for a US green card.
The whole process should take about 5 years. The next step would be to know the type of documents that would be required of you.
Documents Required for an American Green Card
Depending on the category you are applying for, your green card application documents would vary. If you are applying through the family sponsorship program, your family needs to show proof of support.
They need to be able to show that they can support you in the United States. All costs include housing, feeding, and every other expense that comes with living in the U.S.
If you are applying through the employment-based program, you will need to provide employment proof.
You can go ahead and contact the immigration office at the USCIS, seeking professional help from a consulate officer who would put you through if you are stuck in the process.