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Are you eligible for a green card?

As someone seeking to apply for your green card to the United States, it is important to understand the processes surrounding green card application. The first step you must take is determining whether you fall into an eligible category to begin with.

Fortunately, there are many parties eligible for a green card. Each has its own specific requirements and potential limitations, however, which you will need to familiarize yourself with.

Employment and family

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services list the eligibility categories for people who can apply to get a green card. The two most common paths to your green card are through family or through employment.

Through employment, your employer will generally sponsor you throughout the process. This often takes most of the concern out of your hands. Workers fall into categories sorted by preference, with first, second and third preference migrant workers gaining the ability to apply.

If you choose to pursue eligibility through family, note that priority goes to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This may include unmarried children, parents and spouses. It does not include siblings, who fall under the priority directly below it. Widowers and fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens may also apply.

Victims of crime or abuse

Other categories help abuse victims. They include green cards for human trafficking and crime victims, for refugees or people seeking asylum, and for victims of abuse.

There is a category for unique situations as well. This includes anyone born to a foreign diplomat in the U.S., Lautenberg parolees, and American Indians born in Canada. Dealing with these numerous categories can often grow complex, so having legal help to guide you through may be a benefit.