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How to Obtain a Green Card

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us-passport4Anyone who wishes come to the US as a permanent resident must first learn how to obtain a green card. The U.S. has created a program to allow citizens of other countries such as the U.S., Australia and Canada to work or live in this country. The United States is a country which values diversity and welcomes those who qualify for this special status.

To find out if you're eligible for a green card, consider your particular situation. Do you have a job lined up in the U.S. or an offer to work? This is a qualifying reason to apply for a green card. Your prospective employer will need to submit the correct application form to demonstrate that you bring unique skills to a job which cannot be easily filled by an existing citizen of the United States. Professors or researchers are welcomed to the U.S., as are individuals who hold advanced degrees or wish to generate jobs through their own investments.

You can also qualify for a green card based on your family relationships. If you're an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your green card eligibility rates at the top. Spouses are next on the list as are their children under 21 who are not married. Sisters and brothers of current residents also qualify. Check the web page for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for more details.

There are some unique situations which may interfere with your ability to get a green card, even if you otherwise qualify. If you have health issues which may endanger members of the U.S. or have a criminal record, these items must be taken into consideration by the Immigration Service. However, you can submit a request for waiver if this is your case. Look for form "I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility" on the Immigration web page.

The green card lottery is a process that ensures that applications each year are equally considered for award of a green card. Only 50,000 cards are awarded annually through the US green card lottery, so submit your application as soon as possible to ensure you're in that year's lottery. Those who "win" the lottery will receive a letter in the mail from the Immigration department, with instructions as to what steps to take next. You'll never receive an email notification of lottery results, so don't be tricked by one of these fraudulent emails. It's free to apply for a green card, although there are subsequent fees once you've been approved.

Once you've done your homework and know how to obtain a green card, start the process right away. From application to receiving a green card can run more than a year, but by doing your homework and being patient, you'll soon enjoy the privilege of being in the United States on a permanent basis.

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