Who is Eligible to Obtain a Green Card?
While a Green Card is not available to all immigrants to the US, there are numerous categories of those who are eligible to apply. They include:
- Spouses, unmarried children (under 21) and parents of US citizens.
- Immigrant Workers. This category is divided into three sections, known as first preference, second preference and third preference workers. Your status will depend upon such issues as your scientific ability, whether you are a skilled worker, hold an advanced degree, and other factors.
- Special Immigrants. Examples of special immigrants include religious workers, Afghan workers employed by the US, employees of NATO, and others.
- Refugee or Asylum Status. This may apply provided you were admitted at least one year ago.
- Victims of Crime or Human Trafficking. Some individuals who have been crime victims and who have suffered significant mental or emotional abuse, and others who have been the victims of human trafficking (and who were under the age of 18 at the time), may also be eligible.
The above categories are not exhaustive. They include, among others, a number of categories of those eligible under various laws directed toward immigrants from certain countries, those suffering various forms of abuse, certain diplomats, and others. In any case, you may, depending upon your status, need a particular visa before you are eligible under one or more of the above categories.
How Do You Obtain a Green Card?
Provided that you are eligible for a Green Card, eligibility does not in and of itself lead to the issuance of Permanent Resident status. You must also be physically present in the US for a specified period and apply for a Green Card. The application required is Form I-485, an 18-page form which requests answers to a host of questions regarding your past and present circumstances.