Many of us want to get a Green Card to become a permanent resident of the most developed and the current super power nation in the world.
There are many people finding easiest ways to get a Green Card but in fact they are actually looking for the fastest means on how one can get a citizenship of the United States. With the growing popularity of United States as a nation with so many opportunities and implementation of the new modern U.S. Immigration framework, one must need to wait for as long as 10 years or even more to get a Green Card. Though a few lucky ones may get the permanent citizenship of the United States in just 15 days.
Getting a Green Card in United States is impossible if you don’t fall into the specific criteria listed by the U.S. Immigration department. There are many different eligibility criteria which one must fulfil to apply for a Green Card.
How to check if you’re Eligible for Green Card?
An applicant needs to be fit in one of the immigration categories outline in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if he/she wants to be eligible for Green Card. The most common way to get a Green Card is by marriage, although there are other categories applicable for the applicants such as employment, investment, family, refugee status, or through some other pre-established means to become eligible to earn the citizenship of the United States.
Apart from fulfilling the above criteria in terms of categories, the applicant must also be 100% admissible into the United States and shouldn’t have any issues related to security, health or criminal background which can make the applicant ineligible to enter even the US premises.
Hence, before applying for a Green Card, the applicant has to apply for a US Visa in the first place to enter the United States and need to make sure that the Visa is secured and valid before the Green Card application is submitted at the Immigration Department of the United States.
How to Apply for a Green Card Online?
Applying for a Green Card is a lengthy process. Once you have analysed what immigrant category you fit the best, you need to have your family (whether parent, spouse or relative) or employer file an immigrant petition for you. In a few rare cases, you’ll apply for Green Card yourself.
- To apply for a Green Card through your family, the relative must file Form I-130, which is termed as the Petition for Alien Relative.
- To apply for a Green Card through your employer, the employer must file Form I-140, which is termed as the Petition for Alien Worker.
- To apply for a Green Card as an entrepreneur investing money, you yourself need to file Form I-526, which is termed as the Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.
- If you fall into some special category such as widow or widower, file Form I-360.
- If you’re refugee or asylee and have the necessary documents to support, you don’t require any underlying petition as you already meet the necessary requirements.
Once the petition is filed, the next step would be to check Visa availability for your category. The availability of Visas varies according to your immigrant category as well as the fellow country from which you’re emigrating.
For people applying for a Green Card through immediate relatives, there are unlimited number of visas available. But there are only limited Visas available for those applying for a Green Card through distant relatives or for employment purposes. Hence, you may receive a priority date and get listed in the waiting list till the Visa is available in your category.
To review the Visa queue, you will be handed a “Visa Bulletin” as well.
Check visa availability in your category. Once your relative, employer or you yourself file your initial petition, you need to check to see whether a visa is available before filing the remaining application forms. The number of visas available differs according to your immigrant category and the country from which you are emigrating.
There are an unlimited number of visas available for people applying for a green card through immediate relatives.
There is a limited number of visas available to those applying for green cards through family that is not immediate and for employment purposes. You will receive a priority date and be put on a waiting list until a visa becomes available.
You’ll receive a “Visa Bulletin” that will allow you to check your place in the visa queue.
One has to file Form I-485 for Application to Register Permanent Residency or Adjust Status. Before filing this form, you must wait for your Visa to be available. The applicant must read all the guidelines on the form about all the required documents and information which are necessary to submit while filing the form. Also make sure the all your forms are going to the correct address.
For those who are applying for a Green Card through a close family member, they can immediately file form I-485 at the same time the relatives file their petition as there are unlimited visas available for people in this category.
There is a filing fee of $1070.
Click here for Form I-485: http://www.us-immigration.com/Adjustment-of-Status-Form-I-485.jsp
Finish Process and Getting Your Green Card
Get your biometrics taken
Once all the filing procedures are completed neatly, you will receive a notice for an Appointment at the Application Support Center. The Center will have your finger print impressions, take your picture and signature as a part of collecting all the Biometrics information about you. These Biometrics are then used to check your background as well as they will be also used to process you a Green Card.
Go to your interview
After you have submitted all the biometrics information, you might be called in for an interview with the USCIS office who will ask a few general questions about your application. Once you receive with the notification of the appointment, make sure to attend the interview on the scheduled date, time and location. There are instances where the family member who filed your Green Card petition may be asked to join you in the interview as well.
Don’t forget to keep all your travel documents, passports and other relevant files and information along with you when you attend the interview.
Wait for your final decision and get your green card
Once the USCIS officer reviews all your paperwork, assess your interview and make sure that you fit all of the requirements to get the permanent citizenship of the United States, you will be notified by an email.
If your application has been denied for some reasons, you can always file an appeal against it. Whereas if your application is passed, you will receive further guidelines on how to get the Green Card as well as the basic information about maintaining the Green Card and renewing the same.