For millions of people in this world, the prospect of being a green card holder is like winning the lottery. Not only is this card very valuable, but it is also one of the most sought-after immigration passes in the world.
To put it briefly, the process for obtaining a green card isn’t easy nor should it be. There are a lot of things that the country has to take into consideration before granting someone the right to live in the United States and potentially become a US citizen.
And since there are a lot of people actively looking to obtain this pass, we decided to give you an article explaining the entire process from top to bottom.
We will touch on the most important things when it comes to the process of obtaining this card, so sit back, relax, and let’s begin.
What is a Green Card?
Before we start, it’s important to further elaborate on what this piece of document is. A green card essentially allows any non-US citizens the status of “immigrant”. This status allows you to live and work in the United States and start your journey towards full citizenship.
In other words, it allows you permanent status and you can start building a life for yourself in the United States.
This document is so valuable that foreign countries in cooperation with the United States offer it through competitions such as the lottery.
Steps For Obtaining a Green Card
Now that we’ve explained what this document is, and how valuable it is, let’s talk about how to obtain one.
1. Understand Your Eligibility
Not everyone can apply for a green card; simple as. Some people can, and others can’t. But what are the factors that determine whether or not you are eligible for one?
The first and most important one is whether you can be sponsored by someone or something. This has to be a person or an entity (such as a company) that is a citizen or has is residency in the United States.
As we said, you have to determine if you are eligible. To do that, you need to be sponsored by a family member living in the United States, you can be granted the status of an asylum seeker or refugee, you can be branded as a “special immigrant”, human trafficking victim, crime victim, victim of domestic abuse, or any of the other categories.
So, it’s safe to say that you have plenty of options when it comes to eligibility, but not all of them have a positive background. It’s also safe to say that you can be eligible through employment or the official registry, among other categories.
2. File an Immigrant Petition
This is the first and official step to take on the road to becoming a green cardholder. To file for an immigrant petition, you will need to have someone from the above-mentioned examples file it for you.
This could be a family member residing in the United States, your employer, or anyone else. You can also do it yourself, but there are certain examples where this rule applies.
For more information on the subject, we suggest you check out this page out as it holds vital information you could use to successfully file an immigration petition.
3. Approval Of the Petition
Now that you’ve successfully applied for a petition, the petition must be approved by an official governing body, the USCIS. However, that’s not all. The USCIS must have a free visa available for the category you’re applying to. Let’s say that you’re applying for a green card through your employer. Well, the USCIS must have a free employment visa if the request is to be approved.
This means that if you get approved but there isn’t a visa available, you will be put on the waiting list.
4. Filling an Official Application For Permanent Residency With the USCIS
This is the fourth step on the road to becoming a green card holder, and one that requires you to go through yet another application process.
But this time, your immigration petition has been approved and you’re applying for permanent residency. This means that you will need to do some thinking as to which application process to go through.
There are two processes, and the right one can easily be determined. It’s quite simple. If you’re living in the United States, then you will need to go through the process of filing for adjustment within the USCIS. If you’re living outside the US, then you will need to file for permanent residency. Both steps are very straightforward, but they do involve some paperwork and documentation.
After you’ve filed through the appropriate channels, it’s now time to sit back and wait as the USCIS will do yet another review. There isn’t any real indicator as to how long the review will last, but previous applicants say that it takes up to a month maximum.
These people do have some responsibility on the hands, mainly to make sure that no threats to the United States are granted green cards.
6. Scheduling Biometrics Appointment
Once the review has been completed, you will be scheduled a biometrics appointment by the USCIS, This appointment will be confirmed through the mail and you will be asked to your countries’ US embassy (if you’re living outside the US). If not, then you will be asked to come to a close location.
This appointment is crucial. It determines your identity and you need to convince them that you really are the person you claim to be.
7. Final Interview
The last step in the green card process is the final interview with the USCIS.
This interview decides on whether or not you will become a green card holder, although you will not be notified of that during the interview.
You will be asked a lot of questions and will need to answer a lot of information.
8. Your Green Card is Issued
If the final interview goes the way it should, then you will receive your green card!