15 Ways to Get a Green Card

15 Ways to Get a Green Card

If you are looking for a permanent path to live in the United States, consider these 15 options to get a green card:


1. Marriage-based Green Card:


This option applies to spouses of US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders). It is important to note that at the time the marriage was entered into, the parties intended to build a joint life together and should NOT have been entered into for purposes of obtaining immigration benefits.


The process begins with the US citizen or LPR spouse filing an I-130 Petition for Immediate Relatives with USCIS. For spouses of US citizens who are in the United States, they can also apply for the I-485 Adjustment of Status concurrently with the I-130. Spouses of LPRs who are in the United States can also apply for the I-485 concurrently with the I-130 if the F2A category shows Current (C) on the Visa Bulletin. For foreign spouses that are outside the United States, an I-485 cannot be filed concurrently with the I-130. Rather, once USCIS approves the I-130, the case is sent to the National Visa Center and the process for the green card is completed with them.


2. Fiancé/Fiancée-based Green Card:


This option is only for fiancés of US citizens who have met their fiancé in person within the last two years and the foreign fiancé is not currently in the United States. The US citizen petitioner will file an I-129F with USCIS in the United States. Once approved, the case is sent to the National Visa Center and the process for the fiancé visa is completed with them. The foreign fiancé, once the case is approved, will enter the United States with a K1 visa and the couple will have 90 days to marry. After the marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for the I-485 to adjust status and get a green card.


3. Parent or a US Citizen-based Green Card:


To petition to bring your parents to the United States as a green card holder, the petitioning child must be a US citizen that is at least 21 years old. The process is similar to the marriage-based visa above: the petitioner will file an I-130 with USCIS. If it is approved and the parent is outside the United States, he or she will finish the process with their local US consulate. If the parent is currently in the United States, they can file the I-485 application to adjust status concurrently with the I-130, as immediate relatives of US citizens.


4. Child of a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident-based Green Card:


To petition to bring your child to the United States as a green card holder, you can petition as either a US citizen or as a Lawful Permanent Resident. As a US citizen, you can apply for children (unmarried and under 21), unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 or over (including their children), and married sons and daughters of any age (including their spouse and children). As an LPR, you can petition for children (unmarried and under 21) or unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 and over.


5. Sibling of a US Citizen-based Green Card:


To petition to bring your sibling to the United States as a green card holder, the petitioning sibling must be a US citizen who is at least 21 years old. Petitioning for your sibling, child, or parents will always begin with filing the I-130 with USCIS. They can then either finish the process with consular processing abroad, or with filing an I-485 with USCIS if they are in the United States when a visa becomes available for them.


6. Self-petitioned EB-1A Green Cards:


The EB-1A green card is for individuals who have an extraordinary ability. This means that you can show you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. EB-1(A) visas are self-petitioned, meaning no job offer or green card sponsor is required. You apply for yourself by filing a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.


7. Employer-Sponsored EB-1B and EB-1C Green Cards:


EB1(B) green cards are for outstanding professors and researchers. Outstanding professors and researchers must demonstrate international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field, including at least 3 years of experience teaching or researching in that academic area. EB1(C) green cards are for multinational managers and executives. Multinational managers and executives must have been employed outside the United States for at least 1 year in the 3 years preceding the petition or the most recent lawful nonimmigrant admission if you are already working for the US petitioning employer. The application process for outstanding professors or researchers and multinational managers and executives requires a US employer to file an I-140 and demonstrate their ability to pay the offered wage.


8. Employer-Sponsored EB2 and EB3 Green Cards:


To be eligible for the EB2 green card, you must have an advanced degree or its equivalent, which is a bachelor’s degree plus five years of progressive work experience in the field. To be eligible for an EB3 green card, you must be a skilled worker, professional, or other worker/unskilled workers. “Skilled workers” encompasses people who have jobs that require 2 years of training or experience. “Professionals” encompasses people whose job requires at least a US baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree and are a member of the professions. “Other workers” encompasses people who perform unskilled labor that requires less than 2 years of training, education, or experience. These applications require a US employer to file an I-140 and show they can pay the offered wage. Once the I-140 is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 may be eligible to apply for admission to the United States under E34, EW4, or E35.


9. Self-petitioned EB-2 National Interest Waiver Green Card:


To be eligible for this green card, you must first qualify under the EB2 category, meaning you either are an advanced degree professional or you can demonstrate exceptional ability. The EB2 National Interest Waiver allows the Labor Certification to be waived because it is considered in the interest of the United States. To be eligible for the National Interest Waiver green card, you must show that the proposed work has both substantial merit and national importance, you are well positioned to advance the proposed work, and it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the requirements of a job offer. The application process requires the filing, and receiving the approval of, an I-140 and an I-485. These two forms can only be filed concurrently if your EB2 priority date is current. Otherwise, you will have to file the I-140 first and wait for your priority date to be current to file the I-485.


10. Self-petitioned EB5 Investor Green Card:


EB5 investor green cards allow someone to invest in the US and create jobs for US workers. Generally, a large investment is required: around $900,000 at a minimum. The jobs that the investor creates must benefit the US economy.  The process begins with filing an I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor. You can file for your spouse and unmarried children under 21 at the same time. Once approved, you will fill out a DS-260 with the US Department of State and then an I-485 once within the United States. Within the 90-day period immediately before the second anniversary of your admission to the United States, you will file I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. Thereafter, you will have a ten-year green card.


11. Diversity Visa Lottery Green Card:


The Diversity Visa Lottery green card is an option that the US government created because of its policy interest in ensuring that the United States remains open to countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, and they are drawn randomly. To enter the lottery, you fill out a form on the State Department’s website while it is available, which is from early October through early November. You will save your confirmation number to check the status of the application beginning in early May of the next year. If selected and you live outside of the United States, you will apply for your green card with Form DS-260 and the National Visa Center. If you’re in the United States when selected, you can apply for a green card with an I-485 with USCIS as soon as a visa becomes available.


12. Victims of Abuse Green Card:


For certain victims of violence, a green card is available through VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act. Despite its name, it applies to men and women. To be eligible for a green card through this path, you must have suffered abuse from a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, be the child of an abusive US citizen or LPR, or the parent of an abusive US citizen or LPR. To be eligible, you must show that the required relationship existed and that you suffered abuse. The form used to apply is the I-360.


13. Victims of Human Trafficking Green Card:


For victims of human trafficking, the US offers a path to a green card through the T-Visa. This visa gives protection to victims of sex or labor trafficking and provides employment authorization. To be eligible, you must comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (unless you were under the age of 18 at the time of trafficking). To apply, use Form I-914.

15 Ways to Get a Green Card
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

14. Physical or Mental Abuse Green Card:


Victims of certain crimes in the US are eligible for the U-Visa, which is a path to a green card. The U-Visa is for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Qualifying crimes include the following: abduction, abusive sexual contact, blackmail, domestic violence, extortion, false imprisonment, female genital mutilation, felonious assault, fraud in foreign labor contracting, hostage, incest, involuntary servitude, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, obstruction of justice,  peonage, perjury, prostitution, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, slave trade, stalking, torture, trafficking, witness tampering, unlawful criminal restraint, and other related crimes. To apply, you must fill out an I-918 and include an I-918 Supplement B, signed by an authorized official of a law enforcement agency.


15. EB4 Religious Worker Green Card:


The EB4 green card is for special immigrant religious workers, such as ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations. To be eligible, you must have been a member of a religious denomination that has a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the US for at least 2 years immediately before filing a petition for this status. To apply, a US employer, or you on your own behalf, must file form I-360.

Share this post...

Ashoori Law
Based on 591 reviews
Jamal Albardwil
I was delighted with my experience. Mr. Ehsan Ashoori Was a professional, and free consultation meant free and informative. And he educated me on what to expect and do, the likely outcomes, and how to achieve it. I would highly highly recommend this... immigration law firm to anyone needing an immigration law firm.I wish I could give them 6 stars.100% professionals.read more
Sanjeev Bhalla
Ashoori Law is a professional law firm with a great team. We had applied for my daughter's change of status visa and they handled it pretty well and we got the status change without any difficulty. I would strongly recommend them to anyone who... wishes to engage a immigration law firm. They will do a great job as was in our case. I'd like to thank Michael and Sergio as well their entire team for the fantastic work work they did for us.read more
Graem Beddoes
Very grateful for the help and guidance in getting our E2
Carolina Marmolejo
Very proffessional law firm. My husband & I appreciated their attentive, meticulous and detailed work on our case. They always stayed communicated and responsive to us from beginning to end.
Kaveeta Ramnarine
Totally grateful to the Ashoori team for their excellent service. They are very responsive and knowledgeable, they go above and beyond for their clients.Special thank you to Attorneys Rebecca McCarthy and Ehsan Mehri for their continued support in... our process.read more
Shyam Chandrasekharan
I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for your exceptional guidance and expertise in securing my visa extension approval. Your professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication were instrumental in achieving this success. Your support and clear... communication throughout the process were invaluable. I'm deeply grateful for your outstanding work.read more
Malia Hi’ilani
Ashoori Law is a very knowledgeable and thorough law firm, with a great team. They gave me confidence in my business plan by providing a free discovery call to see if it was worth pursuing. Very personable and available for all of my questions or... concerns throughout the process. I was granted my E2 change of status successfully. I would highly recommend them for all of your immigration needs.read more
Israt Jahan
AshooriLaw is a great choice for our case.they response fast and very helpful.
Beth Jinks
Ashoori Law again handled my green card travel document renewal application professionally, and they accurately predicted the processing time. I've tackled similar paperwork alone before, but have now been working with Ashoori for about five years... because they provide peace of mind that everything is handled correctly. Highly recommend.read more
Chris Lejeune
At first I was hesitant hiring a lawyer from outside Texas that no one I knew personally dealt with however I am glad I did. These guys are very helpful and friendly. Their knowledge of my case and procedures was outstanding. 5 stars all day long.
Yuvraj Singh
I would highly recommend Ashoori law for any kind of immigration services. They are fast, their process is easy and they are professional. I would highly suggest them handle your immigration cases.
Mazen Hanana
Thank you for your amazing services as well as for your prompt response to all my queries.Your professional experience was very helpful in submitting, approving and getting my Re-entry permit
Very great! Love, love, love Ashoori Law and his team. They make you feel like family. This is the team that will definitely get the job done. Very friendly and professional!
Nyoka Bandoo
Very professional and looks out for your best interest at heart!
arsalan pervez
Hello sir u have watsap number
My wife & I recently engaged the services of Ashoori Law for Immigration services, and I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with their expertise and professionalism. From the moment I contacted them, they demonstrated a deep understanding of my... case and provided insightful advice that put me at ease. Their legal team, led by Micheal, displayed an exceptional grasp of the intricacies involved in my situation. The Ashoori Law team not only guided me through the entire legal process but also took the time to answer all my questions in a clear and concise manner. Their attention to detail and dedication to my case truly set them apart. I am pleased with the overall outcome and would recommend Ashoori Law for their top-notch legal services.read more
Before contacting Michael Ashoori's firm, I had spoken to a few Immigration lawyers, NONE was as patient and responsive as Michael. His firm scheduled a call with an Attorney who turned out to be the most efficient and brilliant lawyer ever.... Stephanie DiPietro was simply amazing. The detail in her notes, cover letter and crisp responses to my plentiful enquires mostly done with a smile was always reassuring. I highly recommend this firm as they are worth much more than they charge.read more
I had an exceptional experience with Ashoori Law. I hired Ashoori Law Firm to help with my immigration process. They assigned me a dedicated legal assistant, Jeser, and an attorney, Matthew, to guide me through the process. I am truly grateful for... the responsiveness of Jeser and Matthew. They consistently answered all my questions and helped me prepare all the documents for the application. The team's friendliness and remarkable expertise stand out. I highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone seeking legal services for immigration.read more
Anas Khan
Michael's firm has been very helpful in processing, filing and taking the Re-entry permit to its successful approval. I needed help as I had to travel due to personal emergency for an extended duration and had a lot of questions with no time to... think. They gave us time and clarified all the questions over call, email giving proper directions. Some of the videos on YouTube posted by Michael also helped me figure out that I could reach out to them to take my application forwardThanks to Matthew, Clara, Milena and all the folks who helped.read more
Alyssa Sanders
I highly recommend this lawyer for all immigration needs. They were so extremely patient with my situation and my questions, and definitely legitimately cared about the experience had with them. Immigration can be a very difficult and scary... experience and they definitely offered peace of mind. Very Affordable for the quality of services provided. I would definitely use them again in the future and recommend for immigrantion law needsread more
Fauzia Usman
Thankyou so much Michael Ashoori and your Immigration Attorney Shruti Bali and all team member to help me process me and my family case of E2 Investor Visa. It took Approx. 10 months from Ontario Canada. I Never visit IN person to this Firm,... everything deal and process online. Ashoori Law serve Great Professional Service. Highly recommend.read more
Sonia Rathour
Ashoori Law Firm has the most loyal Representatives and lawyers who really cares about their client. They always available to answer any question you have regarding your case and always give the best advise for your best.I got so lucky to have... immigration case in their Hand.read more
Dinesh Perera
I am so glad I chose Ashoori Law for my E2 process. They handled my case professionally from start to finish. My circumstances were somewhat complicated and needed special attention in order to get me across the finish line. I must state that I was... extremely fortunate to have had Shruti as my attorney handling my case. She was always very responsive to all my questions and cleared my doubts in every instance. All documents were very carefully handled by her and checked over and over again prior to submission, which i believe is the key to getting the E2 approved. Thank you Michael, Shruti and the entire team for a professional and successful job done.read more
Next Reviews
Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.