In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the 5 main ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Permanent residency allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States.
0:22 – 1. Family Based Immigration
0:56 -2. Employment Based Immigration
1:48 – 3. Investment Based Immigration – EB5
2:42 – 4. Diversity Green Card Lottery
3:26 – 5. Asylum and Special Immigrant Visas
The first and most common way to obtain a green card is through family based sponsorship where an immediate US Citizen relative files a petition for you the foreign national. There are generally 2 ways for a US Citizen to petition for an intending immigrant (1) file a petition with USCIS if the intending immigrant is residing inside of the United States, and entered the United States by lawful means through a U.S. port of entry and was properly inspected upon their entry or (2) if the intending immigrant resides outside of the United States, the beneficiary will need to go through consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consular post abroad.
Certain extended family members (brothers and sisters) may also petition for a foreign national, however these visas are limited and subject to a waiting period according to the Visa Bulletin.
If you have a job offer from an employer in the U.S., you may obtain a work visa such as an H, L, or any other work visa, and that same employer may petition for your green card through a process known as labor certification PERM. Once the labor certification is approved you may apply for your green card with USCIS. The time it will take to receive your green card will depend on your immigrant visa preference category (EB-1, EB-3 etc).
Investment Based Immigration EB-5
You may also qualify to apply for permanent residency through the EB-5 program by making a half a million dollar investment (or more) into a regional center or investing in your own business provided the business generates at least 10 jobs.
Diversity Green Card Lottery
Every year the Department of State allocates up to 50,000 immigrant visas per fiscal year to a special class of immigrants known as “diversity immigrants,” for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is a congressionally mandated program made possible by section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Diversity immigrants are those who come from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. In order to qualify for a diversity visa, essentially a green card, you must be a native of a country participating in the diversity visa program.
Asylum and Special Immigrant Visas
To qualify for a green card based on asylum, the foreign national must demonstrate that they are a refugee that is either unable or unwilling to return to their country of nationality or country of last habitual residence, as a result of persecution or well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of five statutorily protected grounds including: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
For more information please contact our office to schedule a free first time consultation. Our staff members can assist you in Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, French, and Danish.