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Immigration Law: Green card Eligibility categories

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There is nothing that beats the joy of an immigrant in the USA than passing the Green card process and becoming a permanent resident of the country with fully acknowledged human rights and the opportunity to work in gainful employment. The nickname Green card originated between the 1940s and 1960s when the card was literally colored green. The green color was later reintroduced in 2010, and the name has remained that way. However, for now, cards come in different colors, which may include blue or even yellow. 

Green cards can either be renewed every ten years or two years, depending on the conditions surrounding card acquisition. Some of the rights that Green card holders get to enjoy include social security benefits, political contributions, property ownership, and even firearm licensing. For students, they can now apply for student financial aid and have their tuition, college, and vocational studies fee reduced. They can also have more freedom in the job market and the ability to sponsor more family members so that they can get Green cards of their own.

Please continue reading on to learn more about Green card eligibility and categories.



  • Employment


USCIS reportedly makes about 140,000 Green Cards for people who have professional skills that are in high demand in the USA. However, the conditions are that the worker must show proof that he has a job offer and that an employer is willing to hire them because there is no American citizen with the skills needed.  The highest number of Green card applications comes from this category because most immigrants also seek employment, and therefore applicants may have to wait for several years before getting approval.


  • Family


USA citizens can sponsor their immediate family members to petition for a Green card. However, the family relatives must also fulfill prerequisite conditions in different categories and show proof for the same.  These categories include spouses in valid marriages and unmarried children under the age of 21 years who have at least one parent with valid citizenship.  Stepchildren whose parents married before they clocked 18 and parents of United States citizens assuming their child is at least 21 years of age are also eligible for the Gren card.


  • Adoption


Adoption is open for any child who is under the age of 16 years, to parents who have valid USA citizenship. However, the adoption process is highly regulated and must conform to the set laws and regulations. 


  • Investment


More than 10,000 visas and Green cards are issued annually to investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 years. However, there are prerequisite conditions that have to be met, which include being able to invest at least $500,000 in a commercial enterprise that benefits the US economy and creates at least five full-time jobs. If investors invest $1,000,000 in the commercial enterprise, they must be able to create ten full-time jobs at least and benefit the US economy.


  • Diplomats


Lastly, another category of people that can land a Green card is diplomats and their family members, but only if they agree to relinquish their diplomatic rights, immunities, and privileges. Remember, a diplomat cannot be criminally prosecuted if he has a G Visa, at least not in the USA. It, therefore, means that a diplomat must agree to live and work like any other ordinary citizen of the USA, and subject to the same personal injury laws. However, there must be compelling reasons as to why the diplomats and their families cannot go back to their country of origin, such as prosecution. A diplomat can also be issued with political asylum if there is a need.