Green Card Process

A United States Permanent Resident Card, most commonly called a "green card," allows a non-U.S. citizen to legally live in the United States for an indefinite period of time.

A US green card allows immigrants to live and work in the United States for the rest of his or her life, either through a family-based or employment-based sponsorship. For many people, obtaining a green card is the first step in the road to U.S. citizenship.

Rights After getting A Permanent Resident Card

  • Individuals with an American permanent residence have full right to live within the territory, as well as work and study.
  • Permanent residency holder will be able to apply for the citizenship once all the necessary requirements are met.
  • Permanent residency holder family will be able to apply for an American permanent residence visa in the United States.
  • Permanent residency holder can buy a property within the territory.
  • Having Social Security benefits and Medicare is possible if Permanent residency holder meet the requirements.
  • Permanent residency holder can travel to any country in the world and re-enter the U.S. territory without any problem.

Possible ways to get a Green Card

There are several ways to become a lawful permanent resident, such as:

  • Green Card Through Family (family-based)
  • Green Card Based On Employment (employment-based)
  • Green Card Through the Diversity Visa Lottery
  • Green Card through Asylum & Refugee status
  • Certain category of special persons, like investors, religious workers, etc.

A) Green Card Through Family (family-based)

If you have any family member who is U.S. citizen or a green card holder you can petition for a green card. This is also one of the easiest ways to obtain legal permanent residency.

Sponsorship by Immediate Relative

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • unmarried children under the age 21 of at least one U.S. citizen parent
  • parents of U.S. citizen children who are 21 years and older
  • biological children
  • Orphan adopted abroad Or adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen

Sponsorship by Family Preference

If the family member sponsoring you is not an immediate relative, you may still get your green card but there will likely be a longer waiting period.  Because only a certain number of these green cards can be issued (on a first come, first served basis) each year to persons who are not immediate relatives of U.S. citizens

  • First preference: Petitions filed by U.S. citizen parents for their unmarried children 21 years or older.
  • Second preference: Petitions for spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of Legal Permanent Residents.
  • Third preference: Petitions for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizen, and their spouses and minor children.
  • Fourth preference: Petitions for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.

Green Card Based On Employment (employment-based)

There are a limited number of green cards that can be issued to foreign nationals who are sponsored for residency through employment. U.S. employer must prove there are no qualified, willing American workers for the particular position being sponsored and agree to pay the required wage to the foreign national upon issuance of the green card.  Since only a limited number of these green cards are given, applicants may have to wait years to apply for a green card.   The waiting period depends on the applied preference category.  Below are the different preference categories:

  • First preference - EB-1 (Priority Workers): Applicants of extraordinary ability in arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and multinational companies executive or managers
  • Second preference - EB-2 (Advanced Degree Holders): Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business
  • Third preference - EB-3: Skilled and professional workers
  • Fourth preference - EB-4: Religious workers and miscellaneous categories of special immigrants
  • Fifth preference - EB-5: Employment creation visas for investors who invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)) into a U.S. business that creates or, in some cases, sustains at least 10 full-time jobs. For more information, please visit USCIS website at

3 Popular ways to get a U.S. Green Card

The Process of getting an Employer Sponsored Green Card

The information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before making any decision, consult with the appropriate professionals. Please refer our Disclaimer for details.

What is H1-B Visa?

H1B Visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa for temporary workers. Read about the Eligibility, Quota for H1B Visa and more. Read More

H-1B Electronic Registration Process

On Dec. 6, 2019, we announced that we would implement the electronic registration process for the fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) H-1B cap. Read More

H-1B Visa Application Process

The H-1B visa (or “Specialty Occupation” visa) is one of the most popular temporary worker visas, used for those in professional or specialty occupations. Read More

Total Cost Of a H-1B Visa

The sponsoring company/employer is required to pay the H-1B fees. As per the changes in 2016, if an employer with 50 or more employees, Read More

What is an I-94?

The I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record Card that the United States government uses to keep track of the arrivals and departures of foreign nationals. Read More

Request for Evidence (RFE)

Request for Evidence (or RFE) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be scary. But don’t panic. Read More

H-4 Visa

The H4 visa is a nonimmigrant visa issued by the USCIS to the spouse and minor children of the H1B, H1B1, H2A, H2B or H3 visa holders. Read More

B-1 : Business Visitor Visa

The B-1 visa is for visitors to the U.S. for business purposes including: consulting with clients or business associates, conferences or seminars,... Read More

B-2 : Tourist Visa

The B-2 visa is for individuals visiting the U.S. temporarily for pleasure, tourism or to visit family or friends. Read More

H1B Visa: What is a Specialty Occupation?

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa which will admit to the United States to perform services in a “specialty occupation”. Read More

H1B to Green Card Process

H1B Visa holders can apply for permanent residency i.e. Green Card on completion of 6 year limit. One of the best advantages of the H-1B visa is... Read More

Green Card Process

A United States Permanent Resident Card, most commonly called a green card, allows a non-U.S. citizen to legally live in the United States for an indefinite period of time. Read More

What is a priority date?

What does priority date mean? One of the largest factors that goes into green card processing times is the priority date. Read More

U.S Citizen through Naturalization Process

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress. Read More

3 popular ways to get a U.S. Green Card

A United States Permanent Resident Card, most commonly called a green card, allows a non-U.S. citizen to legally live in the United States for an indefinite period of time. Read More

Ways To Become a U.S Citizen

Being a citizen of the United States comes with many benefits, and the Citizenship is most important immigration benefit that USCIS can grant. Read More

Process of getting an Employer Sponsored Green Card

Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. Read More

Immigration Resources

Please find below few Immigration Resources and useful links. Read More

Difference Between U.S. Visa, Green Card and Citizenship

Generally Visas are often confused with green cards and U.S. citizenship. Both permanent residents (green card holders) and U.S. citizens have many of the same rights, such as the ability.. Read More

Most common types of Nonimmigrant visas

Non-immigrant visas enable temporary works and visitors to enter the U.S. for a specific period, for the purpose related to their non-immigrant classifications. Please find below the list of few most common types of non-immigrant classifications... Read More

Difference Between Naturalization And Citizenship

Naturalization is a process for foreign nationals who become US citizens through the naturalization process. Citizenship is issued to an individual who was born out of the country to US citizen parents. Read More

USCIS Overview

The USCIS is a U.S. government agency and responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities. Read More