For many people worldwide, obtaining a green card is the ultimate goal when it comes to immigrating to the United States. A green card is a legal document that allows an individual to live and work in the US permanently.

How to get a green card in the US

There are several ways to obtain a green card, and in this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common routes.

  1. Employment-Based Green Card

One of the most common ways to obtain a residence permit, is through employment. This process usually involves an employer in the US sponsoring the individual for a resident permit. There are different categories of employment-based green cards, depending on the type of work the individual will be doing. Some of these categories include:

  • EB-1: for individuals with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business, or athletics
  • EB-2: for individuals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, arts, or business
  • EB-3: for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers
  • EB-4: for special immigrants, such as religious workers or certain employees of the US government
  • EB-5: for individuals who invest a significant amount of money in a US business and create jobs for US workers

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  1. Family-Based Green Card

Another common way to obtain a residence permit is through family sponsorship. If you have a close relative who is a US citizen or green card holder, they may be able to sponsor you for a residence permit. The process can be lengthy, but it’s usually straightforward if you have a qualifying relationship with the sponsor. Some of the qualifying relationships include:

  • Spouse of a US citizen or green card holder
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a US citizen or green card holder
  • Parent of a US citizen (if the child is over 21)
  1. Diversity Visa Lottery

The Diversity Visa Lottery is a program that allows individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the US to apply for a residence permit. The program is open to individuals from countries that have fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the last five years. The application process is free, but the chances of winning a green card through the lottery are low, as only a limited number of visas are available each year.

4. Asylum and Refugee Status

Individuals who have been persecuted or fear persecution in their home country due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group may be eligible for asylum or refugee status in the US. Asylum seekers and refugees can apply for a green card one year after being granted asylum or refugee status.

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5. Special Immigrant Status

There are several categories of individuals who may be eligible for special immigrant status and a resident permit, including:

  • Religious workers
  • Juvenile immigrants
  • Retired employees of international organizations
  • Foreign medical graduates who have been practicing medicine in the US for a certain number of years


Obtaining a resident permit can be a complex and lengthy process, but it’s worth it for those who want to make a permanent home in the United States. If you’re considering applying for a green card, it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you choose the best route for your situation.