Many people wish to live in the United States permanently but they are unaware of the process through which they can obtain lawful permanent resident status in America. United States recognizes the need for foreign nationals to settle in the United States and permits them to immigrate to America and live there permanently. Nevertheless, it is not that easy to become a lawful permanent resident of America. Family members of US citizens and permanent residents and high skilled workers can immigrate to the United States based on sponsorship. There are few different ways through which foreign nationals can become permanent residents and the most common way is through family sponsorship. You can easily get a Green Card if your parent, spouse or your child is a US citizen and if he/she is willing to sponsor you.
Spouses, parents and children of US citizens can easily get Green Cards and they need not wait for years like the other categories of applicants to get Green Cards. That is because, spouses, children and parents of US citizens belong to the immediate relatives category. But it may not be that easy for you to get a US Green Card if you are a family member of a permanent resident. That is because, under the current immigration laws of the United States, spouses and children of Green Card holders do not belong to the immediate relatives category and they need to wait for few years to immigrate to the United States. In these cases, the sponsoring US citizen or the Green Card holder must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and sponsor you. However, the spouses and children of Green Card holders would be considered immediate relatives if the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill is passed but now you will have to wait for few years to immigrate to America, if you are a child or a spouse of a Green Card holder.
The other common way to obtain a US Green Card is through employer sponsorship. Most of the US employers seek to hire foreign workers and they believe that foreign workers will help their businesses to succeed. High skilled foreign workers if sponsored by US employers, will become eligible for Green Cards. In this case, the sponsoring employer must file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, on behalf of the foreign worker he is willing to sponsor. If you are sponsored by a US employer, you will become eligible for a US Green Card but you need to wait for few years to get into the United States.
There are few ways through which you can obtain permanent resident status without sponsorship. One such method is to become an investor. Foreign investors who make significant investments in business ventures in America will become eligible for permanent resident status in the country. These investors, along with their family members will become eligible for permanent resident status. Similarly, the other way through which you can become a permanent resident is by obtaining refugee or asylee status in the United States. People who are admitted into America as refugees or asylees can apply for Green Cards, one year after obtaining refugee or asylee status in America.
The other most common program that permits foreign nationals to obtain Green Cards is the Green Card lottery program that is conducted every year, by the US Congress. Green Cards are being issued through this program to foreign nationals who belong to under-represented countries. 50,000 visas are being issued every year and eligible winners can get Green Cards through this program if the are eligible for permanent resident status in America. In all these cases, to immigrate to America, as a foreign national, you must establish that you are admissible into the country and that you do not have a criminal history. By submitting documentary evidence, you will have to demonstrate your admissibility.