How Do You Apply for a Green Card?


Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official website, a person applies for a green card through one of four main categories: family, job, refugee or miscellaneous. Applications can be found and filed online at the Immigration Services website. Additionally, all applicants, excepting immediate family members, must wait for a visa to become available prior to travel even after approval is granted.

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Full Answer

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services states that an applicant can apply for a green card while in the country or abroad. Parents, spouses or unwed children less than 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen are categorized as immediate family and are eligible under the family category with no wait for a visa. Other relatives, such as a green card holder's children older than 21 years of age of any marital status or a spouse is also eligible; however, they may have to wait for a visa. There is an annual limit on issued visas.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines those eligible to apply as a refugee or for asylum must first be allowed entrance into the United States as a refugee, an asylee or as a family member of an asylee. A year after entry, eligible persons may then apply for permanent residence.

The job category grants approval to applicants who are being sponsored by an employer. Examples of persons who qualify otherwise are the future spouse and children of the future spouse to a U.S. citizen, the widower of a U.S. citizen, children of foreign diplomats born on U.S. soil, Cuban natives and victims of trafficking.

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