United States

Immigrant visa

Permanent Resident status, symbolized by the so-called green card, confers on foreign nationals the right to live and work in the United States.

The process to acquire a green card changes frequently, as do the waiting periods associated with each of the different steps. Some of the different ways to obtain permanent resident status are through:

  • Employment based petitions
    A total of 140,000 immigrant visas are available in this category each year. Most of these visas are available for members of certain professions, people of extraordinary ability in a particular field, or professionals whose skills are in short supply in the US.
  • Familybased petitions
    Eligible for permanent residency in this category are immediate relatives of either United States citizens or United States residents.