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5 Ways to Get a Green Card Through Work

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

With Independence Day this week, what better way to celebrate than with a post on how to get into this great country.

Along with entering the country as an immediate family member, one of the most common ways to get a green card is through work.

However, if you're not fortunate enough to be educated, have a demanded skill set, and a job offer waiting, gaining permanent residency through this route can be difficult. Here are five ways that someone can get a green card through work.

  1. Be Extraordinary. If you’re internationally acclaimed and have a Nobel Prize to your name, you could qualify for a visa. It is extremely difficult to qualify for one of these green cards, and being exceptional is not good enough (see below). If you are fortunate to qualify, you probably don’t even need a job offer to enter the country.

  2. Be Exceptional. There are very few extraordinary people out there. However, there are a lot of exceptional people. If you have an advanced degree or have five years work experience, you could get a green card through work. However, in most cases, you’ll need a job offer and your potential employer must demonstrate there are no qualified Americans for the job.

  3. Be Patient. If you’re a skilled or unskilled worker, you can still get a green card. Just be prepared to wait. The U.S. usually gets far more applicants than it has open positions, and you could expect to wait years to enter. Your employer must really want you to wait this period out.

  4. Be a Man (or Woman) of God. Some immigrants like religious workers can enter the U.S. through this special green card. There’s usually no wait for this method.

  5. Be Really Rich. If you have a million to spare (literally, you need $1,000,000), you can get permanent residency by investing in a business and hiring at least ten employees.

Getting a green card through work is one of the most popular ways to enter the U.S. These applications can get complicated, and if you have any questions, you may want to contact an immigration attorney.

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