Green Card/Permanent Residency

Green Card/Permanent Residency Based on Employment

Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the United States. The five employment-based immigrant visa preferences (categories) are listed below.

Permanent Worker Visa
Preference Categories

Preferences General Description Labor Certification Required?
First Preference EB-1 This preference is reserved for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors or researchers; and multinational executives and managers. No
Second Preference EB-2 This preference is reserved for persons who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or for persons with exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Yes, unless applicant can obtain a national interest waiver
Third Preference EB-3 This preference is reserved for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers. Yes
Fourth Preference EB-4 This preference is reserved for “special immigrants,” which includes certain religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, retired employees of international organizations, alien minors who are wards of courts in the United States, and other classes of aliens. No
Fifth Preference EB-5 This preference is reserved for business investors who invest $1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time U.S. workers. No

Green Card/Residency Based on Marriage

(also see “Family Petition” for additional information)

If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a lawful permanent resident (get a Green Card) based on your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements. You are an immediate relative if you are:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen;
  • The unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or
  • The parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

If you are currently in the United States, in order to be eligible for a Green Card as an immediate relative, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States;
  • You are physically present in the United States at the time you file your Form I-485;
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form I-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application;
    • Note: A visa is always available for immediate relatives.
  • The relationship to the family member who filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you still exists;
  • None of the applicable bars to adjustment apply to you;
  • You are admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief; and
FOR ANY AND ALL ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND/OR ADDITIONAL POSSIBLE VISAS, PLEASE VISIT: WWW.USCIS.GOV