Ways to Acquire a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage

How to Obtain a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage

As a foreigner, there are plenty of ways through which you can acquire a U.S green card and legally become a permanent resident without necessarily having to get married to a US national.

Generally, green card qualifications can be classified into three separate groups, namely family-based green cards, employment-based green cards, and special immigrant green cards.

What are the Options to Get a U.S Green Card Without Marriage?

The marriage-based green card is the easiest path to acquiring a permanent residency status in the US. However, because most of the immigrant visa applicants have no marriage ties with U.S nationals or permanent residents, foreigners with appropriate skill sets, unique abilities, superb academic qualifications, and competence are offered an opportunity to reside and work permanently using the various different routes, beginning with employment-based immigrant visas.

  • Employment-Based Green Card

Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of employment-based green card applications made by foreign nationals to the U.S. Out of this, the successful applicants are issued with green cards under the employment category allowing them to live and work permanently in the country.

According to the reports, a whooping 140,000 employed-based green cards under different classes of EB immigrants were issued in 2016 alone.

Usually, employment-based green cards are issued to non-US nationals who have been offered a job by a U.S employer. A vast majority of these green cards are sponsored by immediate employers or potential employers.

Both foreign citizens domiciled in the U. S or outside the U.S are eligible for an employment-based visa provided they are working for a US employer or have got opportunities from a potential employer. In that regard, the employer will file the application on behalf of the employee.

Employment-based visas are further subcategorized into four distinct preferences, namely EB-1 (first preference), EB-2 (second preference), EB-3 (third preference), and EB-4 (fourth) preference. These four subcategories have their separate requirements that need to be met individually. Some are reserved for skilled and unskilled workers while others may demand you have advanced skills.

  • Investment-Based Green Card

The EB-5 investor green card presents yet another route for foreign nationals to migrate to the expansive U.S. This green card is reserved for foreign business individuals looking to invest in excess of $1 million or $500,000 in a U.S venture.

If you have got the required minimum amount and are ready to invest, then this immigration path will well serve you the best since you won’t have to wait for a job opportunity to surface in the U.S.

However, it is necessary to keep in mind the funds must be directed to an approved EB-5 business. In addition, the investment must create over 10 jobs for US nationals.

  • Special Immigrants Green Card

If you’re ineligible for an employment-based or marriage-based green card, there are still options for you as you can apply for a special immigrant green card. However, this category is not for all as it is reserved for the following:

  • Spiritual Leader
  • International Media Personnel
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile
  • A staff (or a family associate of the staff) of a global organization
  • Afghan or Iraqi citizen who has worked as a translator for the federal government or any Iraqi national who has been employed by the federal government past March 20, 2003, or Afghans working for the ISAF.

Other Green Card Options

If you’re a refugee or asylee in the United States and you have been there for more than one year, then you may qualify to apply for a U.S. green card. Also eligible for green card application are those in possession of a T or U nonimmigrant visa.

  • Diversity Immigrant Visa

The diversity program sets aside 55,000 immigrant visas every year for non-US citizens whose countries have much fewer applications for permanent residency in the US.

This program works like a lottery since success is mainly dependent on luck. However, this option may present you with the path to obtaining a US green card without having to get married to a US national. So, the acquisition of diversity immigrant visas is pegged on luck.

Even if you are fortunate enough to win, there are several processes that you will be tests that you will be subjected to before you can be granted a permanent residency in the United States. Additionally, it demands that you have the requisite education and job skills for the program.

Irrespective of being demanding, the diversity visa immigrant remains a viable option, particularly if you are ineligible for the rest of the visa categories. Each year, many non-US nationals already residing in the US exploit this option to switch from a nonimmigrant status to permanent status, and those from outside the U.S leverage on it as well to acquire a permanent residency in their dream country.

Wrapping Up

From the above, it is evident that there are several ways of acquiring a green card besides getting married to a US national. The path to obtaining a US green card without marriage can be actualized by applying for employment-based green card, investment-based green card, special immigrants green card, and ultimately diversity immigrant visa.


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