The Green Card (Alien Registration Receipt Card) is obtained upon the approval of the immigrant visa or the adjustment of status. This permanent residency can be obtained through Family Sponsorship, Labor Certification through an employer in the U.S., by National Interest Waiver, or other special category for persons of Extraordinary Ability or the Green Card Lottery (Diversity Visa). With a green card, the applicant can work legally in the U.S. and it is proof of lawful residence within the U.S. (See also, Other Green Card Issues for helpful information.)

In this way the Green cards can be further subdivided into many different categories:

  • Green Card – Family Based Immigration
  • Green Card – Employment Based Immigration
  • Green Card – Lottery System
  • Green Card – Investment Based
  • Green Card – Adoption
  • Green Card – Registry
  • Green Card – Private Bill
  • Green Card – Diplomats
  • Green Card – Asylum
  • Green Card – Refugee
  • Green Card – Special Immigrants

1. Family Based Immigration

Relatives of U.S. Citizens

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child (under the age of 21)
  • Unmarried stepchild (under the age of 21)
  • Adopted child (under the age of 18)
  • Parent or stepparent
  • Unmarried son or daughter (over the age of 21)
  • Married son or daughter (any age)
  • Brother or Sister

 

Relatives of U.S. Green Card Holders

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child (under the age of 21)
  • Unmarried stepchild (under the age of 21)
  • Adopted child (under the age of 18)
  • Unmarried son or daughter (over the age of 21)

2. Employment Based Immigration

Employment First Preference

  • Persons with extraordinary ability
  • Outstanding professors and researchers
  • Managers and executives in multinational companies

Employment Second Preference

  • Professionals with advanced degrees
  • Persons with exceptional ability
  • Exceptional professors and researchers

Employment Second Preference with National Interest Waiver (NIW)

  • Persons with exceptional ability involved in activities that will substantially benefit the U.S. national interest
  • Advanced degree professionals involved in activities that will substantially benefit the U.S. national interest

Employment Third Preference

  • Professionals with a U.S. bachelor’s or foreign equivalent degree
  • Skilled workers
  • Unskilled workers

Schedule A

  • Registered nurses and physical therapists
  • Persons qualified to work in one of the shortage occupations on the Schedule A list

3. Green Card Lottery

  • Winners of the Green Card Lottery conducted by the U.S. Department of State

4. Investors

  • Foreign entrepreneurs who invest $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 5 full-time U.S. jobs.
  • Foreign entrepreneurs who invest $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs.

5. Adoption

  • Children under sixteen years of age adopted by U.S. citizens or green card holder.

 

6. Registry

  • Foreign Nationals who have resided continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 1997

7. Private Bill

  • Foreign nationals that Congress (House of Representatives or Senate) believes have compelling humanitarian factors to stay permanently in the U.S. and for whom the USCIS cannot grant permanent resident status.

8. Diplomats

  • High-level diplomats on A-1 visa who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution.

9. Asylum

  • Foreign nationals in the U.S. who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular, social or political group.

10. Refugee

  • Foreign nationals displaced by war, famine, and civil and political unrest or, unable or unwilling to return to their home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution.
  • Foreign nationals in their home country who have experienced persecution in the past or have a well-founded fear of persecution in the future.

11. Special Immigrants

  • Religious Workers
  • Former employees of U.S. Government
  • Former employees of the Panama Canal Zone
  • Former employees of U.S. Armed Forces
  • Retired employees of International Organizations
  • Former employees of the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong
  • Employees of International Broadcasting Companies
  • Special agricultural workers
  • Foreign medical graduates
  • Abused spouses and children of U.S. Citizens or Green Card holders
  • Permanent Residents who departed the U.S. for more than 12 months
  • Foreign children declared dependent in U.S. juvenile courts

Some Green Card related services are as follow:

  • Green Card- Advance Parole
  • Green Card- Adjustment of status
  • Green Card- Consulor Processing-Immigrant
  • Green Card- Employment Authorization
  • Green Card- Fiance(s) Visa
  • Green Card- I-130
  • Green Card- I-140
  • Green Card- Labor Certification
  • Green Card- Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
  • Green Card- Brother/Sister of U.S. Citizen
  • Green Card- Parents/Children of U.S. Citizen
  • Green Card- Spouses/Children of U.S. Green Card Holder
  • Green Card- National Interest Waiver
  • Green Card- Re-entry Permit
  • Green Card- Removal of Conditions
  • Green Card- Temporary Protected Status

In most cases where you are looking to fill a vacancy quickly, it is not feasible to apply for lawful permanent residence.

Most employment-based, permanent residence applications involve demonstrating that there is a shortage of US workers to fill the vacancy. The process of demonstrating such a shortage is called ‘PERM Labor Certification‘; hereafter, called ‘labor certification’.

Wherever labor certification is involved, the total processing time can take an average of two to six months. Wherever labor certification is not required, it is normally easier to transfer a candidate to the US using a non-immigrant visa, and then to apply for a green card once they have taken up their position.

PERM Labor Certification

Before you may obtain a green card for a foreign worker who does not qualify for exemption from labor certification, that company must demonstrate to the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the US Department of Labor that the job is one for which there are not sufficient United States workers who are willing, qualified, and available at the time of application for a visa.

The employer must also demonstrate that the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and/or working conditions of workers in the United States who are similarly employed.

Labor certification does not permit an alien to start work in the US. It is simply one of several requirements before for the grant of an immigrant visa. An application for labor certification is made using official form ETA 9089. While no supporting documentation is required with the ETA 9080, the employer may need to provide additional supporting documentation upon request.