It is the case that not everyone who wants to come to the United States qualifies for a green card. In many cases, they don’t have a link to an employer or a family member within the country, so they are unable to apply.
That being said, more people can apply for a green card than you may realize. Qualifying for a green card is possible through one of four main pathways. These include:
- Applying to the green card lottery, which allows people from certain countries to apply for a green card through the diversity visa lottery. Every year, up to 50,000 people are selected. If they qualify, then they can continue with the process to get a green card.
- Seeking asylum. If your country is dangerous and persecuting you based on certain grounds, then the United States does allow people to seek green cards through asylum. If you’re awarded asylum, you may obtain permanent residence in the country.
- Applying with the help of a family member. If you have a close relative in the United States who is a citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to apply to live in the country, too.
- Seeking a green card with the help of your employer. It’s usually difficult to get a green card even with the help of your employer, but if they have a U.S. branch and want to sponsor you, for example, you may be able to get a green card awarded to come work in the country.
Even if you don’t qualify for a green card, there may be other options for you to visit the United States, so think about why you want to come and the length of time you’d like to stay.
What is the process like when you seek a green card?
The process of seeking a green card can be long. It may take many months or longer for the government to review your application. Depending on your history and background, it’s possible that you could have your application denied, as well.
It’s valuable to learn more about the laws and options before you apply. Being prepared will give you the best chance to get the green card you want.