There’s no easy way to successfully immigrate to the United States and gain citizenship, and every person seeking entry has different circumstances to consider. Yet, some processes are more commonly used and can result in a shorter processing time than others. If you’re looking for the fastest way to get a green card, it’s important to understand the different options available. Currently, the three most common routes to citizenship are:
- Having a family relationship with a current U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
- Obtaining employment with an employer in the U.S., and
- Being selected in the diversity lottery.
Why does it take so long to get a green card?
The United States limits the number of green cards it will issue to applicants in each category. In most cases, it will also depend on where the applicant originates from, as the number of cards also depends on the country of origin. Because the number of applicants far exceeds the number of green cards the U.S. issues, it can take an applicant up to 20 years or more to finally be approved for one.
The most common reason applicants seek citizenship status in the United States is because they have a familial relationship with someone already in the United States. Within this category, several subcategories outline the priority order for green card distribution:
- Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents
- Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
- Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens
According to this information, applying for a green card as the brother of an adult U.S. citizen is currently one of the longest waits of any of the family member eligibility processes. There are also no options available within the family relationships category for extended family members such as cousins or grandparents.
People who receive valid offers of employment may be eligible to receive a green card, but they may have to wait quite a while to receive it. Just like family relationships, there are several layers of priority status within the employment category:
- Priority Workers. These are internationally recognized artists, award-winning scientists, or the like, or executives or CEOs of multinational companies.
- Members of Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability.
- Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers. This category includes those with at least a Bachelor’s degree-level education in a specialized field. Some unskilled workers are also included, but the wait for those individuals is very long. The employer must also prove they cannot find qualified workers within the United States.
- Certain Special Immigrants. These are very specialized and unusual situations.
- Employment Creation. Applicants for this category have substantial financial resources for a business venture that will create employment for a minimum number of U.S. citizens.
Officially titled the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, it’s commonly known as the lottery for green cards since that’s essentially how it works. A limited number of cards are available each year (currently 55,000), and they are randomly allocated in a lottery fashion. Countries with lower amounts of immigration from other methods are given more cards. Recipients must meet eligibility criteria such as educational achievements, financial resources, and passing background checks. The chances of winning the lottery are low, particularly for those who are in countries with already high immigration rates. But for those selected, the lottery presents a great opportunity that might otherwise not be possible.
What’s the best route to choose to get a green card?
There’s no single surefire way to get a green card quickly. The process you should choose will depend on your specific circumstances. However, one key to obtaining a green card in the most efficient manner possible is to ensure you are submitting all your forms and documents correctly. Hiring a qualified translation service with immigration application experience is a great place to start.
At The Perfect Translation, our translators combine legal experience with language fluency to produce accurate legal translations efficiently and affordably. Our team understands the process the USCIS uses to review and process immigration applications, so they are positioned to best help your clients present their cases most favorably. Your documents will be translated correctly and formatted appropriately the first time to meet the USCIS requirements. Contact us today for more information and a free quote.