The United States is home to over 40 million immigrants, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s migrants, and more than any other country across the globe, Pew Research Center reveals. Moreover, 77% of immigrants enter the country legally, while nearly 25% are unauthorized.
If you’re looking to immigrate legally to the US, you’ll need to determine which green card you’re eligible for. Family-based green cards and employment-based green cards, in particular, are the two of the most popular options used by immigrants.
Employment-based green cards
Employment-based green cards are split into five categories, depending on the specific skills you can bring to the US. EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-4 green cards all concern your skills as an employee. You may need to prove any specialized training or impressive abilities, or require a US employer to sponsor your application. The EB-5 green card, on the other hand, is given to investors who create jobs in the US; they need to invest between $500,000 and $1 million in doing so.
The details of immigration via investment vary depending on your home country. It’s therefore important to get professional financial and legal guidance if it’s an immigration method that interests you. Alternatively, it’s possible for residents of foreign countries to live and work in the US on a temporary basis. For example, a caregiver visa is an H-2B non-immigrant visa specifically for temporary non-agricultural workers. With this visa, caregivers can provide care to the elderly or provide childcare in their employer’s home.
Family-based green cards
Family-based immigration is the most popular method used by migrants to enter the US. US citizens and legal residents can bring immediate family members — such as a spouse, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21 — to join them in the US. For immediate relatives, there typically isn’t a long wait for a visa (although paperwork can be lengthy).
Alternatively, other eligible family members fall into the family preference category: unmarried children aged 21 and over, spouses, married children of any age, and siblings. However, family members in this category will have a longer wait to obtain their visa, since there’s a restriction on the total number of immigrant visas available to family preference immigrants every year.
Thousands of people apply for a green card every year in order to immigrate to the US. By researching your green card options and choosing the right one for you, you can ensure your best chances of success.