The Ultimate Guide to Securing a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage
Published November 3, 2023
How to get a green card in the USA without marriage? Let’s talk about it.
For many people, the United States offers imaginable opportunities in their home countries. They see it as a way to have an excellent quality of life. The access to education, availability of jobs, finances, security, safety, and many more attract them. These opportunities make a lot of individuals want to stay for good, get a green card, and call the United States home.
Yet, for those who want to secure a green card in the USA and desire permanent residency without marriage, the process is a lengthy one. It can also be costly and challenging. A green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder is less complex. The latter is more straightforward.
Still, if you’re one to be persistent, we’ll guide you. In this write-up, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about how to get a green card in the USA without marriage.
What Is a Green Card? Permanent Resident Card
A green card, officially a permanent resident card, is an identity document. It confirms that a person has a permanent residency in the United States. Those holders of it are formally regarded as lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
As of 2019, there is a rough calculation of 13.9 million permanent resident holders. It is for whom 9.1 million are eligible to become citizens of the United States.
How to Get a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage?
Aside from marriage-based green cards, several alternative outlets exist for getting a green card without marriage. It includes employment, entrepreneurship, investment, family, or a special immigrant.
You can undoubtedly get a green card in the USA without marriage. You can secure six types of it in the USA without tying the knot.
Types of green card without marriage
- Self-petition green card
- Employment-based green card
- Investment-based green card
- Special immigrant green card
- Diversify Visa (DV) lottery green card
- Family-based green card (No marriage)
Family-based options can be impossible for individuals who are not a spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or a spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident. They may come with a years-long wait.
1. Self-petition green card
There are two variations of green cards in the USA for which a person can self-petition. Both do not need a U.S. employer to sponsor them.
- EB-2 National Interest Waiver (EB-2 NIW). The NEW is accessible to those with advanced degrees (Master’s or higher, or Bachelor’s degree and five years of experience. They can also be those with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, or business and have a proposed venture with essential merit. Also, that is nation-important and will benefit the U.S. to waive the PERM labor certification.
- EB-1A Extraordinary Ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics. EB-1A is accessible to individuals who are top masters in their fields in their home countries or internationally. Disregarding the title, there are no limits to the areas that may be included to qualify.
2. Employment-based green card
- EB-1B Outstanding Researcher and Professor. EB-1B is accessible for those who have received international recognition for exemplary achievements in academic fields. They may also have at least three years of experience in teaching or research. Also, we are seeking a green card to pursue a tenure, tenure track, or comparable research position with an academic institution. For individuals working as researchers for a private employer, the employer must display that it employs at least three full-time researchers and has record achievements in the area of expertise.
- EB-1C Multinational Manager or Executive. EB-1C is accessible to individuals employed by a company abroad as a manager or executive for at least one year in the past three years. They are those coming to the U.S. to work as a manager or executive for a U.S. employer that is an affiliate, parent, or subsidiary of their foreign employer.
- EB-2 or EB-3 PERM Labor Certification. The EB-2 and EB-3 are for those who fill professional, skilled, or unskilled positions in U.S. companies. Unless waived, all applicants require an approved PERM application. Learn everything about PERM Labor Certification here.
3. Investment-based green card
EB-5 Immigrant Investment program is available for individuals who invest at least $1,050,000 in a U.S. Business or a regional center in a low unemployment area. They may also have invested $800,000 in a U.S. business or regional center in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
The investment must create or sustain at least ten new jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The investment must also showcase that they have the necessary capital not linked to criminal activities. Finally, the money can be in the form of loans.
4. Special immigrant green card
A special immigrant green card is another way to secure a permanent residency card in the USA without marriage. The following special immigrants are eligible:
- Religious workers
- Special Immigrant Juveniles
- Certain broadcasters
- Certain retired officers or employees of a G-4 international organization or NATO-6 civilian employees and their family members
- Certain employees of the U.S. government who are abroad and their family members
- Members of the U.S. armed forces
- Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone government employees
- Certain physicians licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978
- Noncitizens who have supplied information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise or a terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation (S nonimmigrants).
5. DV lottery green card
The DV lottery is accessible to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
For you to be considered, you must be a national of eligible countries and must present:
- A high school diploma or successful completion of a 12-year course (of formal elementary and secondary education) OR
- Two years of work experience in the past five years in a job that demands at least two years of training or experience.
6. Family-based green card
Individuals can also secure a green card via family members in defined circumstances. Individuals who are entitled are:
- Unmarried child of a U.S. citizen who is under 21 years of age
- Married or unmarried adult child of a U.S. citizen
- Adopted child of a U.S. citizen
- Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen
- Stepchild of a U.S. citizen if the marriage took place before the child turned 18
- Parent of a U.S. citizen that is over 21 years of age
- Unmarried child of a lawful permanent resident who is under the age of 21
- Available adult child of a legal permanent resident
Marriage Green Card
A marriage green card is a variety of immigrant visas. It allows one to live and work in the United States. It is available to spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
You must be legally married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to be entitled. Same-sex marriages are also acknowledged.
Green Card Application: What You Need to Know
When applying for a green card, there are several critical things you need to be aware of:
1. Eligibility categories
The eligibility requirements for a green card can differ. It will depend on the category you fall under. These may include family-based, employment-based, asylum/refugee, and Diversify Visa Lottery programs.
2. Application forms
The form you need to accomplish will anchor on your entitlement category. For one, Form I-485 is commonly used for family-based and employment-based green card applications if you are already in the United States.
3. Required documentations
You will need to gather supporting documents proving your eligibility and establishing your identity. These may include birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, employment letters, financial records, and the like.
There are payments associated with the permanent resident card application process. They can include filing fees and biometric fees, among others.
5. Biometrics appointment
After submitting your application, you will be appointed for a biometrics appointment.
In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview with a USCIS officer. It is to verify the data provided in your application. It also aids in determining your permit for a green card.
7. Processing times
The processing times for green card applications can differ. It’s vital to stay updated with the USCIS website for the latest information.
Frequently Asked Questions About Green Card in the USA
1. What is the easiest way to get a U.S. green card?
Marriage-based green cards are the most accessible means to secure a U.S. green card. If you are joined to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can appeal for it based on your marriage. This route is often more straightforward for eligible spouses.
2. Do you have to be married to get a green card in the U.S.?
To secure a green card in the U.S., marriage is not mandatory. There are also other eligibility categories. Employment-based green cards, family-based green cards, diversity visa lottery, and more are obtainable.
3. Can you get a green card without a spouse?
It is possible to obtain a green card without a spouse. While marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder is one way to apply for it, other eligible categories do not require a spouse.
4. Who can sponsor green cards?
U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor certain family members for a green card. It includes supporting spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Moreover, employers and financial co-sponsors can also do so.
Wanting to live in the United States for good is indeed possible through obtaining a green card. As we’ve covered, marriage is not the only eligibility requirement to secure one. You have plenty of other options to explore based on your life circumstances.
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