When people immigrate to the United States and want to make this country their permanent home, they are looking for a destination that offers them many opportunities for a better lifestyle and a more promising future. They usually come here from countries where war is a way of life, where religious and other forms of prosecution are what people have to deal with on a daily basis, where they fear for their lives and where they have little economic security. That is why achieving the dream of becoming lawful permanent residents or green card holders is the desire they most wish to become a reality.
However, fulfilling the requirements for a permanent resident card or green card, as it is also known, is not something that can be accomplished without careful research and effort. It also needs to be coupled with a great deal of patience, since getting it may take years and sometimes even decades.
There are several ways to go about getting a green card but not all of them will apply to you. You may qualify for one if you have a close existing family relationship in this country. You may be fortunate to have a job that sponsors you to get a permanent resident card or you may be one of the lucky ones that win one through the diversity lottery, depending on your country of origin. Or maybe you have the means to start a business in the United States and can apply for a green card after having gotten an EB-5 investor visa.
Still, there is no magic formula for anybody wanting a green card to obtain one. You must understand your particular circumstances to ascertain what category of applicant you fall into and start the process from there. And even once you know what category fits you best, you must arm yourself with tons of patience because the wait can be excruciatingly long.
The concept of visa preference categories defines the number of times applicants will need to get a green card. Depending on your preference category you may be assigned an immigrant visa number which, in short, refers to the spot in which you have been placed in the waiting line for a green card. The Department of State releases a monthly Bulletin where the current availability of visa numbers is displayed. These numbers are divided into family-sponsored and employment-based preferences.
If you are a spouse, minor child, or parent of an American citizen, you are considered to be an immediate relative and are thus immediately eligible for an immigrant visa number. This opens up the easiest path to a green card.
The Department of State breaks down in its Bulletin the specific employment-based visa categories and gives each one a priority date. Even though you may have an employer who is willing to sponsor you for a green card, there are still countless hoops you must jump through in order to fulfill all qualifications.
If you want to sponsor a close relative to get a green card or if you are facing issues getting one for yourself, you can get more at fl-ilc.com.
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