Five Ways to Obtain a Green Card

  1. 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.
  2. Family-Based – Available to certain close relatives of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.
  3. Investment – Investment of $900,000 to $1.8 million dollars, creation of jobs for US workers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 US 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 5 years of progressive experi­ence) and Foreign National meets stated requirements

Third Preference – Bachelor’s degree, Skilled Worker (2 or more years of experience) and a subcategory for Unskilled Worker (less than 2 years of experience)

Step 3 – Application for Permanent Residence
Adjustment of Status with USCIS in the U.S. (or Consular Processing abroad)

*First Preference individuals are exempt from the Labor Certification process

**Those who qualify under the “National Interest Waiver” are exempt from the Labor Certification process

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