Being a permanent citizen of the United States of America has several benefits to offer to foreign immigrants. For instance, it protects from deportation under federal laws. Lawful permanent citizens can also enjoy medical and voting benefits.
With so many benefits to offer, applying for a green card seems a promising prospect. However, not everyone is eligible for permanent citizenship in the US. Or, at least, under the naturalization process.
So, what are your options, and what are the eligibility criteria?
If you are also bothered by these questions, keep reading to find the answers.
The Options For Green Card Application
When applying for a green card in the US, you have primarily two options. These are mentioned as follows:
Diversity Visa for US Immigrants
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services issues 50,000 diversity visas every year to foreign immigrants. Under the diversity visa program, random applications are drawn, and the applicants are offered a green card. For this reason, the program is also often known as the green card lottery program.
Notably, there are minimal eligibility criteria for applicants under this program. In other words, Green Card Lottery Application is your window for an easy and quick, permanent residence in the states. The visa under this program is generally offered to applicants from countries with lower historical immigration rates to the US.
Naturalization Green Card Visa
Since the green card lottery has very few eligibility restrictions, millions of applicants enroll in the program every year. Perhaps, this also means that the chances of being drawn luckily are low.
For a more streamlined entry into the states, you can opt for the naturalization program. Under this program, you’ll be issued a temporary visa based on your employment or other reasons. And with time, if you fulfill the eligibility criteria, you may receive a permanent residence status in the states.
Eligibility Criteria For Green Card Application
By now, you already know that you have primarily two options to seek permanent residence in the US. Regardless of which option you choose to apply with, the Florida Immigration Law Counsel exclaims that there are some essential eligibility criteria you’d need to meet. Read them here.
Minimum Age of Applicant
Regardless of whether you’re applying through the green card lottery program or the naturalization process, you’d need to be of the minimum age. Typically, the minimum age for applying for a green card is 18 years. However, for military personnel who have served any period of wartime, the age does not matter.
Proficiency in Written and Verbal English
The second eligibility requirement for any green card applicant is their proficiency in English. Although the states do not have any official language, most legal and civil proceedings are conducted in English. It is mandatory for any immigrant seeking permanent residence in the states to speak and write English for ease of communication.
Education and Work Experience
The US Citizenship and Immigration services also ensure that any immigrant to the states can and ably feed self or any dependants. For this, the agency makes a thorough check on the educational and professional background of the applicants.
There are several other eligibility criteria, but they vary from process to process and for each applicant.
In a nutshell, if you meet these two essential criteria, you are more likely to be eligible for a green card application. For more information, we suggest you contact an immigration consultant to be better equipped to help you through the process.