Someone who holds a green card is a permanent resident. This means that they can do pretty much anything in the same way as a US citizen, except that they do not own a US passport. With a green card, you can live and work in the USA on a permanent basis.
How to get a green card?
One of the easiest and most common ways to obtain a US Green Card is to marry a US citizen. If you fall in love with a US Citizen, you can apply for a green card from your home country, process the visa there and if it is approved, move to America permanently.
You can also apply for the visa after you marry a US citizen. This means that you go to the USA on a tourist visa, then marry the US citizen and decide to stay. This is tricky though, because it is not allowed to visit the country with the intention to marry on a tourist visa. This means that you need to decide that you want to marry after you’ve already entered the USA, which can be difficult to prove.
You can also get a green card through special family situations including being a battered spouse or child, a widow or widower of someone with a US passport, or a child of a foreign diplomat born in America.
Green card through job
This category is divided among many subcategories, but essentially entails all instances of green cards being issued for purposes related to a job offer, investment or having a specialized job – like working as a surgeon or researcher.
For example, if you’ve received a permanent job offer in the US, you can get a labor certification through your employer. You will then also have to fill out a I-140 form, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
Other ways to obtain a green card
It’s also possible to obtain a green card through investments. If you’re an entrepreneur and have made an investment of either $1,000,000 or $500,000 in a targeted employment area, and plan to create at least 10 jobs for US citizens during your time there, you can apply for a green card through that investment you want to make. Of course, that is only possible if you have a large sum of money to spend.
And last but not least, you might fall into the special job category. If you’re an Afghan or Iraqi translator, an Afghan or Iraqi who assisted the US government, a member of the armed forces, or fall into another special category, you can get a green card that way. Usually people who have served the US government in some way can apply for a green card in that way.
If you’re a regufee or direct family member of a refugee, it becomes possible to apply for a green card one year after entering the country. Even if you don’t want to stay in the USA forever, it is mandatory to apply for a green card after being in the country for a year.