What are the Requirements for Getting a Green Card?

What Are The Requirements For Getting A Green Card?

By: Emily Wilson


A green card, officially known as a permanent resident card, is an important document that grants non-U.S. citizens the privilege of permanent residence in the United States. This status allows individuals to live and work lawfully anywhere in the country, with the potential to qualify for U.S. citizenship after a certain period.

Types of Green Cards

There are several categories of green cards, with the most common ones being:
  • Family-Based Green Card
  • Employment-Based Green Card
  • Humanitarian Green Cards
  • Diversity Lottery Green Card
  • Longtime-Resident Green Card
  • Other Green Cards

How to Get a Green Card? 

The process of obtaining a green card depends on the type for which the individual applies. Below, we outline the steps for getting family-based, employment-based, humanitarian, diversity lottery, and longtime-resident green cards.

US Green Card Visa

Family-Based Green Card

  • Close relatives of U.S. citizens and current green card holders may pursue familybased green cards, ensuring family unification and legal residency opportunities are accessible for eligible individuals.
  • Eligible family members include spouses, children, parents, siblings, widows, and widowers.

Employment-Based Green Card

  • There are various subcategories for workers applying for an employment-based green card.
  • Examples include priority workers (EB-1), professionals with advanced degrees (EB-2), skilled, unskilled, and professional workers (EB-3), special workers (EB-4), and investors (EB-5).

Humanitarian Green Card

  • Refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, crime victims, and abuse victims may be eligible for humanitarian green cards.

Diversity Lottery Green Card

  • The Diversity Visa Lottery Program randomly selects up to 50,000 individuals from countries with low immigration to the U.S.

Longtime-Resident Green Card

  • Individuals who have made the United States their home since January 1, 1972, have the opportunity to seek a permanent resident card through the registry process.

Requirements for Getting a Green Card

The process and requirements of obtaining a Green Card Visa for USA vary depending on whether the applicant is applying from within the United States or outside. Two primary application forms are involved:

From Within the U.S.

  • Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status): This form is used by people already in the United States with a temporary visa, those chosen for a diversity visa, or those eligible through family or work.

From Outside the U.S.:

  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application): This form is utilised by individuals seeking an immigrant visa from abroad, either through family, employer sponsorship, or the diversity visa program.

Benefits of US Green Card

A Green Card comes with many benefits. Here are some advantages of having a Green Card:
  • You are protected by U.S. laws, just like a U.S. citizen, at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • You can help your family members get a Green Card,
  • You can live anywhere in the country without restrictions.
  • You can receive federal benefits like social security and education assistance.
  • You can apply for various jobs requiring security clearances or government work.
  • Green Card holders can help and work for political campaigns in the United States. They can also volunteer during elections.
Navigating the process of obtaining lawful permanent residence in the United States involves understanding the us green card requirements for each category. Whether eligibility stems from familial bonds, professional opportunities, humanitarian considerations diversity lottery selection or longstanding residency, individuals must strictly adhere to the green card eligibility criteria in USA. Following the stipulated application procedures is crucial to obtaining permanent resident status. It is imperative to remain informed about government fees and potential shifts in immigration policies to ensure a seamless and successful application process.

Also read our related blog post "How Can Immigration Consultants Help To Get Your US Citizenship?"