The Green Card or Green Card is permanent residence in the United States. With it it is possible to live and work indefinitely in the North American country.
Likewise, this document allows you to travel freely within and outside the territory, as well as making it possible to apply for citizenship. We tell you what the requirements and eligibility categories are to acquire it.
(Keep reading: Undocumented people with more than 10 years in the United States can process the green card)
The most economical way to obtain a Green Card in the United States is through participation in the visa lotteryin which only citizens of some countries can participate.
For the general public there is the option to apply for family ties, which requires filling out and submitting the Form I-130 and payment of US$535. It is important to consider some extra expenses to pay for legal assistance or medical exams.
To begin the process, all applicants must pay an immigrant fee in the amount of US$220, as established on the official website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Starting with this first payment, the different categories and costs of the Green Card in 2023 are:
- For family ties: Form I-130 US$535. For this option, it is necessary to have a family member who already has permanent residence in the United States and who participates in the registration of the application.
- For immigrant workers: Form I-140: US$700. To opt for this route, it is mandatory to aspire to be hired by a company that has been previously approved by the United States or that is governed by the terms of the T-MEC.
- For foreign entrepreneurs or investors: Form I-526: US$3,675. This category is reserved for those people who can prove their intentions to invest at least US$800 thousand in capital for commercial companies.
- Visa Lottery Fee: US$330.
According to the official website of the United States Government, to apply for the Green Card it is necessary to qualify within one of the required categories. We explain them well below:
The first of them is through the family. You fall into this category if you are an immediate family member of a US citizen or a legal permanent resident under the preference categories.
Likewise, you get on the list if you are the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, the child of a fiancé(e), or the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen.
(You may be interested in: Victims of violence or crimes in the United States can obtain a green card: how? I
The second category is through employment and allows immigrant workers, doctors with a national interest exemption, and immigrant investors to be eligible to apply for the Green Card.
The third category refers to special immigrants such as religious workers, special immigrant youth, representatives of the international media, people of Afghan or Iraqi nationality and employees of an international organization (including their families).
The fourth category is a little more specific and is aimed at people with refugee or asylum status, both with a minimum validity of one year. Likewise, victims of human trafficking and other crimes make up the fifth category. In both cases, applicants must have a T and U Nonimmigrant visa respectively.
Victims of abuse such as some young special immigrants, abused spouses or children, among others, are part of the people who fall into the sixth category.
Likewise, all persons who have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 1972 may be eligible to apply for a Green Card through the seventh category, called registration.
(Read also: The essential economic requirement to get a green card in the United States)
All of the above are the main categories for classifying applicants. However, there are other categories that respond to very specific cases. Therefore, it is vitally important that if you want a Green Card, you review the official website of the United States government in detail.
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