Immigrants’ Paths to Permanent Residency

Immigration policy is in the news as a politicians take sides for campaign purposes. However, for many it is more than just a political issue; it is personal. If you or someone close to you is in need of help, you should know there are several ways for immigrants to qualify for a Green Cards, or permanent residence in America.

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Who You Know

The most common path to permanent residency is being sponsored by someone. That someone is often a family member—either a spouse, parent, sibling or child who is a citizen or Green Card holder. Preferential status is also extended to those engaged to a citizen or the minor child of someone engaged to a citizen.

What You Do

A sponsor can also be an employer or prospective employer. Employment based visas fall into five different categories and allow around 140,000 people to be awarded permanent resident status each year. Professionals or workers with special skills can be sponsored by an employer; some professionals with advanced degrees or extraordinary abilities (such as athletes or performers) do not even require sponsorship. Another way to qualify without a sponsor is to earn an eb5 investor visa houston tx, commonly known as an immigrant investor. Under this provision an investment of $1 million (half that in certain targeted areas) can qualify you for a Green Card. If you are an entrepreneur who can show a credible plan to create 10 or more permanent jobs for citizens you also qualify under EB-5.

What You Have Lived Through

If you sought temporary admittance to the U.S. as a refugee or asylum seeker more than a year ago, you may qualify to turn that into permanent status. Victims of crime or abuse—especially  abused spouses or abused children of citizens, Cubans or Haitian refugees—are also candidates for permanence. Further categories of Green Card eligibility include lottery selections for diversity, those born in America to a foreign diplomat on duty here, and people with ancestors who were Native American even if the Green Card seeker was born in Canada.