For permanent residence in the US: how to get a green card?
How to get a green card of the USA? Legislation of America offers several options for those wishing to leave for the country for permanent residence:
through relatives living in the United States in the status of a citizen or permanent resident; by invitation to work or investment; through the granting of political asylum in the United States; and with the help of a lucky chance – winning the DV lottery.
Getting a green card through relatives.
Many immigrants receive green cards through family members in America. Such an opportunity is available for:
direct (close) relatives of US citizens (spouses, unmarried children under 21, parents); other members of the family of Americans in the priority system (single sons or daughters over 21, married children of any age, brothers and sisters); spouses and unmarried underage children of permanent residents.
Special cases concern children of foreign diplomats in America, widowers of US citizens, brides / grooms, etc.
How to apply for a Green Card when you arrive in the States for a temporary permit (actual for brides / grooms):
An American family member sends a petition to the USCIS in the form of I-130, pays a fee of $ 420. The questionnaire indicates the degree of kinship, information about where the immigrant plans to live. The petitioner acts as a “sponsor” of an alien, bearing financial responsibility for him all the time until he receives a green card and a job. As soon as the request is accepted for consideration, an American relative will receive confirmation – Form I-797. This means that the applicant has the right to legally reside in the US, while this process continues. He must register at a permanent address; for this, the form I-485 is completed. USCIS will send instructions to the applicant, when it is necessary to bring documentation, undergo a medical examination and take fingerprints, come for an interview. If the green card is approved, the applicant will receive it by mail in 2 weeks.
Getting a Green Card outside the country is different in that the applicant’s interaction with the US Immigration and Nationality Service passes through the consulate. The approved petition goes to the National Visa Center, then to the foreign diplomatic mission. The applicant for the green card fills the online form DS-261, passes the medical examination and interview.
The time limit for waiting for a visa depends on the degree of kinship and priority. Close family members will be allowed to enter for several months, and applications for 4-5 priorities are sometimes considered for years. During this time, family circumstances can change, as well as priority. Accordingly, it is necessary to clarify all documents, from Form I-130 to DS-261.
Green card through work.
The main ways to get a Green Card for working reasons are:
through an invitation from an American employer or agent; by investing in the economies of the States; through the submission of an independent petition available to foreigners with extraordinary abilities in different fields; through special categories of workplaces (employees of international public organizations, translators of Arabic (Iraqi dialect), Pashto and Kurdish, religious figures, etc.).
In general, the employer or agent submits an I-140 application and pays a mandatory fee of $ 580. The approved petition goes to the National Visa Center, from there – to the consulate. The emigrant fills out the online form DS-260, undergoes a medical examination, an interview. To enter the States, he pays a tax of $ 165, and a green card receives in 2 weeks by mail.
Form I-140 is also served when a foreign employee arrived in the United States on a temporary work visa, but he wants to stay in the US permanently. All the time, while the request is being considered, an immigrant can legally stay in the country. It is necessary to register at the place of residence by submitting an application form I-485. USCIS will send to the address instructions for further action: how to pass a medical examination and vaccinations, what documents to collect and when to come for an interview, then send a green card by mail.
people with extraordinary abilities in science, art, business, education (the list of such persons includes, for example: nominees for the Nobel Prize, recognized athletes, winners of the Olympiads, etc.); holders of professions of national interest for the United States: physicians who are willing to work under contract in US clinical centers, scientists, translators from relevant languages, journalists, etc.
The same applies to “special” immigrants (religious and public figures, volunteers, foreigners who worked for the US Government in Afghanistan and Iraq, etc.). They independently file a petition in the form of I-360 in UCSIC or the consulate of the country in which they are, pay a fee of $ 405 and await a decision.
Investment and EB-5 program.
An entrepreneur who is in his home country or in the United States on a temporary visa can get a Green Card through investments: buying a ready business, investing in an existing enterprise (acquisition of shares) or a new project. The applicant submits the form I-526 to the USCIS and pays a tax of $ 1500. If the investor is already in the US, you must additionally fill out an application I-485 (on registration at the place of residence and status change).
To claim Green Card through investments (to submit the form I-526) it is possible only after the completed investments. Since the process is ambiguous, it is recommended that future permanent residents of America be assisted by immigration lawyers (a list of current experts in each state is available on the USCIS website). In any case, the applicant-investor is first issued a conditional green card for 2 years, then it must be changed for residence permit, valid for 10 years.
If you want to buy a green card, you can use the EB-5 program. It is a system that has been operating since 1992 and is designed to develop the US economy through foreign investment in new small and medium-sized businesses. A future immigrant invests money in those companies that participate in the EB-5. USCIS monitors cash receipts, monitors the development of the case, if necessary, selects the candidate suitable for him. Investments through regional centers of the Citizenship and Immigration Service are less risky in terms of obtaining a Green Card, rather than independently searching for financing facilities.
Winning a green card in a lottery.
The opportunity to obtain a visa granting the right to the green card of the United States, gives a diversified lottery. This is a state program designed to strengthen the migration flow to the country from those regions from which it is traditionally small, and thus increase the cultural and national diversity of the States. Every year 55 thousand people become happy owners of visas.
Not all states are allowed to participate in the lottery, but only those of which less than 50,000 immigrants have arrived in the United States in the past 5 years. Winning numbers are divided into regions; each country receives no more than 7% of the regional amount. Therefore, the probability of winning all the participants is different (for example, according to the results of the last DV, Europeans have more than Asians). The number of violations of lottery terms is also taken into account. Thus, the probability of winning from the inhabitants of Ukraine, which is leading by the number of fictitious and duplicate applications, is less than that of Asians.
Each participant can register under the country of his birth, in some cases – a spouse or parents. To fill in it is necessary only the questionnaire in English on the official DV website (all offers on other Internet resources are intermediary). A photo taken in the last six months is attached to the questionnaire.
In the autumn of 2018 there will be a recording on DV, whose visas will be issued in 2018. The list of winning numbers will be available in the spring of 2018.
Not every winner of a lucky number can obtain a visa: the applicant must meet the remaining requirements for immigrants, such as:
have at least a school education or equivalent work experience; be able to provide for themselves abroad (savings in a bank account, property in real estate, an invitation to work or help from a “sponsor”).
Compliance is checked by an interview at the US Consulate. In 2015, the maximum probability of obtaining a visa winner of the drawing was 85% (for Russia – much lower). That’s why the computer chooses not 55 thousand numbers, but 100-125 thousand.
Green card through refugee status.
A Green Card can be obtained through refugee status or political asylum in the United States. For this it is necessary to prove that the applicant is subjected to harassment and persecution in his native country for political, social, racial, religious or moral reasons. Women from countries with pronounced patriarchal foundations (in the Arab states, for example), can also count on the support of the American authorities.
The applicant for refugee status submits an application I-589 to the US consulate in the host country, as well as confirmation documents: photographs, medical certificates, records of conversations, police sheets, extracts from the media, etc. After the interview, if the circumstances are confirmed, USCIS organizes for him to travel to the United States, provide a place of residence (usually in specialized centers), give work, and conduct counseling and provide psychological assistance.
One year after entry, you must make a request for Form I-485 (on residence registration and status change) for political asylum. The circumstances that forced the immigrant to leave his native country, are carefully checked again. If the status is confirmed, the applicant receives a green card within a year.
Migrants who have entered the United States on a guest visa or illegally have the right to simultaneously file applications I-485 and I-589 and pass an interview. After a year, the status must be re-confirmed, then you can apply for a green card.
The holder of the Green Card is entitled to live and work in America for the entire duration of its validity (10 years). It can be infinitely extended or after 5 years (sometimes less) apply for a passport of a citizen.