Immigration is an opportunity for many people to seek work or education or start their families. It’s also a chance to escape political conflict and human rights violations. However, immigration doesn’t guarantee protection from deportation. Immigrants seeking permanent residence in the United States should seek green cards.
A green card is an identification document that proves that an immigrant can lawfully live and work permanently in the United States. Immigrants often can’t apply for green cards for any reason. Here are a few ways immigrants can seek green cards:
1. Via a family sponsor
Many immigrants have families that are lawful permanent residents of the United States. Family members can sponsor immediate family seeking to immigrate to the U.S. Unmarried children under 21 years of age or parents would be considered close family members of a permanent resident or U.S. citizen. The person seeking immigration would be considered a beneficiary.
2. By marriage
Alternatively, an immigrant may marry a U.S. citizen and receive a green card. The marriage, however, must be legitimate and not solely for the purpose of immigration. An immigrant may need to prove that the marriage is legitimate by answering several questions, such as naming their spouse’s family members, proving there are jointly owned assets or talking about a shared pet.
3. Through a work sponsor
Employers may prove that there are no readily available qualified U.S. residents willing to work for them. Once approved, employers can hire immigrants to work for them. Employers can become sponsors for immigrants seeking green cards.
Immigrants applying for green cards should be aware of their options. If you or someone you know is seeking immigration and permanent residency in the U.S., it may help to reach out for legal help.