February 6, 2023

Complete Guide to the Green Cards

green card

Green card Part-1

The card is known as the Green card due to the green color in which it acquires. A Green card acts as a ticket for the non-US citizen to gain permanent residence in US. It is also referred as permanent residence card. Many non-native citizens of USA want a green card because it will allow them to live and work anywhere in the United States and will help them to further qualify for U.S citizenship after 3 or 5 years. Every year the U.S government issues more than a million green cards.

How much time does the processing of green card take?

The processing of green card can take few months to many years. This totally dependents on the type of green card you have applied for and where you are applying from. Although as the categories of green cards are different the wait time for each of them can drastically vary.

  • For spouses and immediate relatives of U.S citizen applying from within the U.S the waiting time is from 12 to 22 months..
  • For spouses and immediate relatives applying from outside U.S the wait can be for around 9 to 13 months.
  • For employment based green card the wait can be for two years or more.

Types of green card

  1. Family Based Green Card
  2. Employment Based Green card
  3. Humanitarian Green Card
  4. Diversity Lottery Green Card
  5. Longtime-Resident Green Card
  6. Other Green cards

Family-Based Green Card

Close relatives of U.S citizens and current green card holders qualify for this category. Eligible family members include spouses, children, parents and siblings. Widows and widowers who were married to a U.S citizen before they passed away can also apply on the conditions that they will have to prove that  their marriage was authentic.

Extended family members such as cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents do not qualify or this category of green card. They all can apply for this category only if they have a closer relative who is citizen of the U.S.

Employment- Based Green Card

There are several subcategories under the Employment-based green card. In some cases their spouses and children may also qualify for a green card. Below we’ve mentioned all the subcategories along with the job associated with them.

  1. Priority workers(EB-1)

  • Positions in arts, sciences, education, business, and athletics that require extra ordinary ability
  • Outstanding professors and researchers
  • Multinational managers and executives
  1. Professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional  ability
  • Positions which require at least a master’s degree
  • Positions which require at least a bachelor’s degree plus 5 years of relevant experience.
  • Positions in science, arts and business that require exceptional ability.
  • Positions of national ability
  1. Physicians(EB-2 with a special waiver)

  • Physicians who agree to work full-time in underserved area for a specific period and meet other eligibility criteria
  1. Skilled, unskilled and professional workers(EB-3)
  • Skilled positions that require minimum training or experience of 2 years that is not temporary or seasonal.
  • Unskilled positions that require training or experience for less than 2 years that is not temporary or seasonal.
  • Professional positions that require at least bachelor’s degree from U.S University or college or equivalent of this degree from outside U.S.
  1. Special workers(EB-4)

  • Media professionals.
  • Religious workers and ministers.
  • Afghanistan and Iraq nations who have served the U.S.
  • Certain other employees, retirees and their family members.
  1. Investors(EB-5)

  • The U.S nationals who have invested or are investing at least $1 million in the new U.S business that will create full time positions for at least 10 workers.

Humanitarian Green Card

Humanitarian category of green card is formulated to support the victims and is totally associated to humanitarian grounds. This is divided into several other sub- categories of green card these are: for refugees and asylees, for human trafficking victims, for crime victims and for abuse victims. Under Humanitarian green card the USCIS works to protect the interests of the people who have suffered suppression in any form.

Diversity Lottery Green Card

Every year The U.S government randomly selects 50,000 people from tons of applications that it receives from six different geographical areas such as Africa, Asia and Oceania. Only people belonging from the countries that had little immigration to the United States in the past like Algeria, Lebanon, and Slovakia etc. can participate in this lottery. Most applicants file their entries for this category of green card while they are in their home country but some of them apply from within the U.S.

Longtime-Resident Green Card

Longtime- ResidentGreen card can be availedby the people who have stayed in the United States from 1 January, 1972 without leaving the country for any reason. They can apply for permanent resident green card through the process of registry. For this they need to show their travel records and proof that they did not leave the United States from the time they arrived in the country, their moral character and criminal records are also taken into consideration during the process.

Other Green Cards

Apart from these green cards there are several other green cards that are issued by USCIS under “special immigrants” provision. Other green cards also include green cards for the Cuban citizens and American Indians born in Canada. USCIS provides a list of other green cards along with the eligibility requirement.


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