How to Get a Green Card

You may qualify for a green card by being sponsored by a relative (including your spouse) or through your employer. You may also become a permanent resident through an EB-5 investment, through the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery or through asylum. Our website contains dozens of articles explaining how you can qualify for permanent residence in the U.S. and how the process works.

Obtaining permanent residence enables you to live and work in the United States for the rest of your life as long as you do not abandon your residence by staying outside the US for too long a time or engage in conduct which renders you subject to deportation. After a certain number of years after obtaining permanent residence, you may want to apply to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen.

Adjustment of Status

green cards Most persons who are residing in the US are eligible adjust their status to permanent residence without leaving the U.S. However, if you have ever violated your lawful immigration status, you may be eligible to adjust your status only if you: (1) Are an “immediate relative” of a U.S. citizen (Parent, spouse or child); (2) Qualify for benefits under section 245(i) of the law and pay an appropriate fine; (3) Qualify under section 245(k) of the law as an employment-based immigrant; or (4) Qualify under section 209 if you are an asylee or a refugee.

You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin and other immigration news by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.


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Consular Processing

Links on this page describe the process of obtaining an immigrant visa abroad if you are either residing in a foreign country, or you do not wish to adjust status in the US. However, if you are ineligible to adjust status to permanent resident in the U.S, be sure to carefully read our section entitled Unlawful Presence Bars and Waivers before you decide whether to attempt to obtain an immigrant visa abroad.

Scroll down this page to learn how you can qualify to receive a green card, or how you can sponsor an employee or a relative for permanent residence.

Green Cards is divided into the following subtopics:

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