What’s the Easiest Way to Get a U.S. Green Card?

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If you’re planning on living and working in the United States legally, it necessary that you work toward and obtain what’s called a green card. Unfortunately, for many, that important permit can take quite a long time depending on your circumstance. Some wait only a few weeks, while there have been those who have waited years.

But, what separates those who can acquire this all-important permit quickly from those who wait? In other words, what is the easiest way to get a U.S. green card?

To answer that question, we must look at the four easiest and most common ways to go about getting one:

  • Family
  • Employment
  • Diversity Visa
  • Refugee

1. Family Sponsored (immediate family)

The quickest and easiest way to gain a green card is through a connection with immediate family. And while anyone who has immediate family in the U.S. can apply and is likely to eventually get a green card, priority goes to children under the age of 21 of current U.S. citizens.

Family sponsored green cards are the “easiest” path to take if you are a legal child under the age of 21. If you are a spouse or parent, you may also find the process is less involved and time consuming.

To do so, the family member who is a U.S. citizen must file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The individual or individuals immigrating must then wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply to become a lawful permanent resident.