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Who can get a Green Card to the US?

Green Card allows any person to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States.  A lawful permanent resident is called a green card holder because of the historical greenish color of the Identification Card (so-called green card). 

Currently, the green card program is an umbrella term for the whole spectrum of different immigration programs, most of which is why you think about a broken system when you think about American immigration law. Even though there are a dozen various green card programs, around 90% of all green card holders apply to one of the three application categories: family-based, employment-based, and a green card lottery. 

A) Employment-based programs

One of the most popular ways to become a permanent resident is employment in the United States. This category is divided into many different, sometimes particular green card programs. However, most applicants apply to one of the three employment-based programs : 

1) Priority workers (also known as First Preference) 

To be eligible for a green card in this category, you need to either:

  • have some extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics;
  • be an outstanding researcher or professor;
  • work as a manager or executive in a major multinational company.

2) Workers holding advanced degrees (also known as Second Preference).

To be eligible for a green card in this category, your employment in the United States need to “greatly benefit the nation (which is decided on a case by case basis),” and you need to either: 

  • holding some advanced degrees (e.g., doctoral degree)  
  • having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in your field, or

 3) Skilled worker, professional or other worker certified by the labor department (also known as Third Preference). 

To be eligible for a green card in this category, you need to: 

  • Presenting labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required
  • having some working experience at your job(at least two years)

Those three categories present the main bulk of all employment-based applications. 

B) Family-Based

The second most popular route to obtain a green card is family-based immigration. As you can imagine, to become eligible for that type of visa, you need to prove your kindred with a U.S. citizen or green card holder currently living in the United States. Similar to the previous category, we can distinguish three main types of green card programs. To become eligible for a family-based green card, you need to be either:

1) An immediate relative of a U.S. citizen such as: 

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen;
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen;
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.

2) Family member of a U.S. citizen, such as:

  • Unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen;
  • Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen;
  • Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.

3) Family member of a green card holder, meaning you are the: 

  • Spouse of a lawful permanent resident;
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21; 
  • Unmarried son or daughter (at least 21 years old or older).

C) Green Card Diversity Lottery 

The green card lottery is synonymous with a green card program in popular perception. As the name suggests, it is a random selection of 55 000 people from 12 000 000 people applying worldwide every year. Every Applicant is from the batch of countries approved by Congress of The United States, from whom immigration into the United States was historically low. However, contrary to popular opinion, “winning” the lottery means only a chance to receive a green card. You still need to pass both a background check and a medical one. It is not free either. As with the other green card applications, you need to pay for every medical examination and administrative fee all by yourself. As such, it is not a recommended way to get into the United States. 

Rights and obligations of a Green Card holder

As a Green Card holder, you have the right to live permanently in the United States and work at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. You are also protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence, and local jurisdictions. You also become eligible for U.S. Citizenship after five years (three if you marry a U.S citizen). 

However, as a Green card holder, you are also obliged to obey all laws of the United States on both federal and state levels. You are also required to file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities;

You are also expected to support the democratic form of government of the United States. In case of the war, you might be conscripted (if you are male aged 18 through 25).


There are many reasons and incentives to obtain a green card, either for yourself or a loved one. It’s not the right choice for everyone, though. At PassRight, our team can help you through the process and ensure everything is filed correctly. We provide the reliable counsel and compassionate guidance you need to reach this goal.


  • When will the green card lottery be announced in 2022?

    The Green Card Lottery for 2024 was already announced. However, if you want to participate, you need to sign by 15th October 2022.
  • How to participate in the Green Card Lottery 2022?

    To participate in the Green Card Lottery, you must sign in at the official page:
  • How much money do you need to get a green card?

    It depends on which green card visa program you are eligible for. For more information, please schedule a call with our consultant for individual assessment of costs.
  • What does a green card allow?

    A green card allows you to live and work freely in the United States. You also receive legal protection as if you are an American citizen.
  • What are the advantages of a green card?

    Besides working and living in the United States, you can sponsor certain relatives for visas or green cards. Moreover, If you have a green card, you can apply for U.S. citizenship after five years (three years if you’re married to a U.S. citizen).