There are many reasons that you may have come to this country and now want to obtain a green card. A green card allows you to work and live here permanently and can also open the doors to eventual citizenship.

To pursue one of these desired permits, you must fall into one of many different categories. Here is some information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services about the two most common pathways to help you determine whether you may qualify for a green card.

When You Have Family Connectivity

The most common way to be eligible for a green card is through family members who are either citizens (or even lawful permanent residents) and are able to sponsor you. It is easiest when your family member is an American citizen and you are:

  • Their spouse
  • Their unmarried child under the age of 21
  • The parent of a child over the age of 21

There are many other familial categories, including if you are the widow, fiancé, married child, sibling or unmarried child over the age of 21 of a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

When Your Employment Qualifies

Even if you do not have any close relatives who are citizens, you may be eligible to get a green card through your work. Special classifications exist when you have a definite proficiency in disciplines like the arts, athletics, business, education or sciences. Other allowances are made for highly skilled, professional or even unskilled workers if there is a need for you to work in a particular field. Finally, you may also qualify under an employment provision if you are an immigrant investor with significant assets or a physician who fits certain criteria.