The process of changing an individual's immigration status while in the United States from nonimmigrant or parolee (temporary) to immigrant (permanent) is called Adjustment of Status.
Who is eligible to adjust status in the U.S.?
Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed by a family member or employer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through other special provisions.
Green Card Through Family
To help a family member immigrate, you must be a:
- U.S. citizen
- Green card holder (permanent resident)
- Refugee admitted as a refugee within the past 2 years or asylee granted asylum within the past 2 years.
U.S. Citizens may petition for their Spouse, Children, Parents and Siblings. Green card holders and refugees may petition for their immediate relatives only (spouse and children).
Green Card Through Employment
The main ways to get a green card through employment are:
- Job Offer: You may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a labor certification.
- Investment: Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.
- Self-Petition: Some immigrant categories allow you to file for yourself (self-petition). This option is available for either Aliens of Extraordinary Ability or certain individuals granted a National Interest Waiver.
- Special Categories of Jobs: There are specialized jobs that may allow you to get a green card based on a past or current job, such as: Afghan/Iraqi Translator, Broadcaster, International Organization Employee, Iraqi Who Assisted the U.S. Government, NATO-6 Nonimmigrant, Panama Canal Employee, Physician National Interest Waiver, Religious Worker.
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