There are multiple ways to obtain a green card, all of which vary by situation and that are often challenging but there are situations that enhance the likelihood. Here are several ways immigrants may be able to achieve green card status or have favorable situations to getting a green card.
Amnesty May Support Green Card Eligibility
Congress occasionally provides green card eligibility for people who have been living in the U.S. illegally. Deadlines for both these particular amnesties have passed but cases are still being decided. Recent amnesties have covered:
Nicaraguans, Cubans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and certain Eastern Europeans, under the NACARA law.
Aliens who applied for amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986—who were in the U.S. out of status since January 1, 1982. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age were also eligible to become permanent residents.
Diversity Visa Lottery
There is a created green card category based on the The Immigration Act of 1990 to benefit people from countries that in recent years have sent the fewest numbers of immigrants to the United States.
If you are a native of one of those countries and meet certain educational and other requirements you can enter the lottery. The green card lottery aka the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery, has 5,000 annual winners chosen in a drawing.
The world is divided into regions and allocates under 7% of the total green cards to each region. If you win the lottery, you still have to make it through a rigid application process which many, many people fail due to inadmissibility or the government can’t process their application by the deadlines set by law.
Employment-Based Fourth Preference Green Card Categories
In certain cases immigrants may be able to obtain a green card due to laws and certain provisions of the Immigration Act of 1990 that were created to benefit limited groups of people. These are:
Former U.S. government employees, recognized by the U.S. Secretary of State for outstanding service to the government for a minimum of 15 years
Foreign children declared dependent in U.S. juvenile court
Broadcasting employees of international organizations
Medical doctors licensed in the U.S. who have lived, worked in the U.S. since January 1978
Panama Canal Zone ex-employees
International organization employees and retired officers who have lived in the U.S. for set timeframes, plus unmarried children, spouses
Former 3-year U.S. consulate Hong Kong employees
- Religious workers of recognized religious denominations
Refugee Status and Asylums
A person who gains U.S. government approval as an asylee or refugee may apply for residence status a year after being admitted to the U.S. as a refugee or one year after petition for asylee status is granted.
Proving that people fled their country for fear of persecution due to their race, nationality, religion, membership in political, social or political opinion group, may apply for legal status as refugees and asylees.
Wealthy Immigrant Entrepreneur Eligibility
There are 10,000 annual immigrant visas set aside a wealthy immigrant category, which is designed to create employment. This category is also known as “employment-based fifth preference.”
Wealthy alien entrepreneurs from any country investing $500,000 in a depressed city or one million dollars in a business employing 10 U.S. citizens or permanent residents is eligible for a green card.
You may be financially able to qualify for a green card based on investments but you still need an an experienced immigration attorney to help cut through the challenges you will face.
Consult with Winter Park, Florida, lawyer Roddy Lanigan on your immigration law and immigration services issues.