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Those who have family members in the United States can be sponsored by those relatives and receive a green card for permanent residency. Family members who can serve as sponsors include parents, siblings, children, or spouses. If the sponsor is a green card holder and not a citizen, they must be the child (under 21) or spouse of the applicant.
Those immigrants who marry a United States citizen or a green card holder are eligible to receive permanent residency based on this marriage. This process involves Form I-130, Form I-485, or some combination of both after applying for a K-1 Visa to get into the country and marry.
In order to receive a green card based on employment, the applicant must be sponsored by a United States employer. This goes through a labor certification process, though in certain situations, exceptions may exist. Most of these visas are reserved for certain professions, experts in a given field, or workers whose skills are in high-demand in the United States.
Starting in 1990, the EB-5 visa was introduced to help create jobs in the U.S.
Each year, the U.S. government awards around 50,000 Diversity Visas to applicants from nations who send low numbers of immigrants to the United States. These visas are awarded by computer lottery. Applicants apply beginning in October of the year before the lottery and begin checking online for status in the following May.
The 2 main paths to apply for a green card:
1. Adjustment of Status
(File form I-485 with the USCIS if you are currently in the United States)
2. Consular Processing
(File form I-130/I-140 at a US Embassy/Consulate if you are overseas)