Immigrant Permanent Residency Visas (Green Cards)
This type of visas includes the following different categories:
Family-Sponsored Immigration Visas
United States citizens may petition for their relatives (spouses, parents, children, and siblings). The visas for immediate relatives are always available where the related family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. The immediate relatives are considered to be the spouses, children (unmarried and under 21 years old) and parents.
While the visas for the other family members are subject to annual numerical limits. The preference categories apply to family members are grouped as follows:
- First preference: Unmarried, adult (21 years old or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents.
- Second preference (2B): Unmarried, adult (21 years old or older) sons and daughters of permanent residents.
- Third preference: Married sons and daughters of (any age)of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
Adjustment of Status:
Adjustment of Status is a procedure through which an eligible applicant can become a lawful permanent resident of the United States inside the country, without applying for a visa overseas through what is called consular processing.
Eligibility to adjust status can differ based upon the category and the law or regulation that the applicant is applying under. There are many categories and the eligibility must be determined on a case by case bases. Applicants who are outside the United States, or are otherwise ineligible to adjust their status while inside the country may seek a visa abroad and try to enter as a permanent resident by going through what is known as consular processing.
Employer-Sponsored Immigration Visas (EB -1, EB -2, EB -3)
The EB-1 visa is available for Multinational Executives and Managers, Outstanding Professors and Researchers and for foreign nationals of Extraordinary Ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.
The EB-2 visa is available for Workers with Exceptional Ability or Advanced Degrees in the Sciences, Arts or Business where they must have a job offer and the potential visa employer must complete the labor certification process (testing of the job market).
The EB-3 visa is available for Skilled Workers and Professionals where they must have a job offer and the potential visa employer must complete the labor certification process (testing of the job market).
The EB-4 visa is a special immigrant visa available for Religious Workers (Minister of religion).
EB-5 (Investor/ Employment Creation Visas) is available for foreign investors who must meet specific United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) requirements.
USCIS administers the EB-5 program, created by the Congress in 1990 where it has set aside up to 10,000 visas per year for alien investors in new commercial enterprises employment for ten individuals.
DV-1 Visas “Green Card Lottery”
The Diversity Visa Lottery Program (DV-1) allows each year about 50,000 applicants to receive a green card as part of a random lottery selection process and thereby permanent legal residency in the US.
Other Statuses :
Refugee and Asylum Applications
These applications are available for persons with a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, and membership in a particular social group. Asylum may be granted to people who are already in the United States and are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because their life is in danger.