Five Ways to Obtain a Green Card
- Lottery – Occurs each Fall, only open to certain countries, refer to https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/diversity-visa/instructions.html for more information.
- Family-Based – Available to certain close relatives of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.
- Investment – Investment of $900,000 to $1.8 million dollars, creation of jobs for US workers.
- Humanitarian (Asylum) – Must possess a well-founded fear of persecution upon return to home country, victims of certain crimes or human trafficking, Violence Against Women Act.
- Employment-Based – Employer sponsors through an offer of continuing employment.
Step 1 – Labor Certification
Filed pursuant to Department of Labor (“DOL”) PERM process
Form ETA 9089 filed electronically following labor market test
Typical processing time of 6+ months if DOL does not require additional information
Step 2 – Immigrant Visa Petition
Form I-140 filed with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”)
First Preference* – International Managers and Executives, Outstanding Researchers or Professors, Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
Second Preference** – Job requires Master’s degree or higher, or equivalent (Bachelor’s plus five (5) years of progressive experience) and Foreign National meets stated requirements
Third Preference – Bachelor’s degree, Skilled Worker (two (2) or more years of experience) and a subcategory for Unskilled Worker (less than two (2) years of experience)
Step 3 – Application for Permanent Residence
Adjustment of Status with USCIS in the U.S. (or Consular Processing abroad)