The most common way to obtain a green card is by being a family member of a citizen or permanent resident. However, there are also ways to attain permanent residency that would not necessitate relations, such as employment. In fact, the country allocates hundreds of thousands of employment-based visas per year.
So, who can apply for these visas?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides three employment categories under which an individual can apply for a green card. These categories are:
- Immigrant worker: This covers workers with exceptional skills in their respective fields, advanced employment skills, and skilled and unskilled workers. It is good to note that the USCIS further categorizes these workers into first, second and third preferences.
- Medical practitioner: Physicians who agree to work full time for a certain period in a specific area, usually underserved, are also eligible to apply for a green card.
- Immigrant Investor: Investors who have invested or wish to invest a substantial amount of money in a new U.S. business with at least ten employees can apply for permanent residency.
It is good to note that there are still other eligibility requirements that these individuals must meet before the USCIS consider their applications.
Why are there employment-based green cards?
The country grants permanent residency to a significant number of immigrants every year. The reason behind this is that these individuals contribute to the country’s educational, business and economic growth. The work and investments these individuals put in are valuable to the country.
Applying for a green card can be nerve-wracking, even for those who already have work in the country. A complete understanding of the eligibility requirements can aid an immigrant worker in preparing for the application and help ease nervousness.