Green Card Process

How To Get a Green Card

Whether you are seeking  to work, study, or simply live in the U.S., you have to apply to become a permanent resident first.  And that goes for people who are looking to become U.S. citizens, you will need to be a green card holder before any citizenship applications can take place.  With that said, if you’re looking for options to become a citizen or green card holder in the U.S., the USCIS offers 11 basic paths.  The first 4 options happens more frequently, and options 1 and 2 are the most likely for the common individual.

  1. Family Sponsors Visas
  2. Employment Based Visas
  3. Diversity Visas (also known as “Green Card Lottery” or “Diversity Immigrant”)
  4. Green Card Through Investment / Job Creation
  5. Immigration Registry (typically illegal immigrants)
  6. Adoption
  7. Political Asylum
  8. Diplomats
  9. Private bill
  10. Refugees
  11. Special Immigrants

While all 11 paths are possible in the green card process, the first 4 options typically are the most typical way, with the top 2 routes being the easiest for the common individuals.

Family Sponsored Green Card

  • F1 – Unmarried children of U.S. Citizen
  • F2A – Spouse or Children of U.S. Green Card Holder
  • F2B – Unmarried Children of U.S. Green Card Holder
  • F3 – Married Children of U.S. Citizens
  • F4 – Siblings of U.S. Citizens

Employment Based Green Card

  • EB1 – Priority Workers With Extraordinary Abilities
  • EB2 – Professionals with advanced degrees
  • EB3 – Skilled professionals
  • EB4 – Special workers including government and religious workers
  • EB5 – Investments

Green Card Lottery

Reserved only for people from countries that do not usually immigrate to the U.S., the Green Card Lottery is also known as the diversity visas

Green Card Through Investments And Job Creation

Invest $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a business that will create at least 10 jobs then you qualify for Green Card Through Investment

Immigration Registry

Immigration Registry is for people who have lived continuously in the United States, typically illegally, since January 1st, 1972.  With good personal records and behavior throughout.


Children that are under 16 years old adopted by U.S. Citizens

Political Asylum

Foreign nationals with special political protection by U.S. government


Foreign diplomats that cannot return to their home country

Private Bill

Granted by congress or senate on grounds of humantarian


Foreign nationals who are displaced from their home country

Special Immigrants

Various reasons such as religiuos workers or government related workers