Obtaining a Green Card to become a permanent resident in the United States is a long and tedious process. This resident status gives you many rights such as the right to study, work, move, etc. However, it does not give you the right to vote since you do not have American nationality. Several steps must be taken to obtain this precious sesame. In addition, not all visas lead to a Green Card. How long then does it take to become a permanent resident in the United States?
5 to 6 years for foreigners holding a work visa
The work visa is issued to the United States administration for travelers who already have a guaranteed job even before their arrival in the United States. People who get this visa quickly usually work in an international company that is also present in Uncle Sam’s country. They can therefore be transferred easily and receive a professional visa valid for three (3) years and renewable once.
That will make you six years, but it normally takes five years of full residence in the United States to have the permanent resident permit. As an employee residing in one of the US states, you can easily request your Green Card after five (5) years of presence. The processing time for your application is not fixed and may therefore extend over a year or more.
2 years leaving for the USA with a Millionaire visa
This is one of the fastest and safest ways to get a Green Card. You get the EB-5 visa by investing in the USA. You will have two options and must make an active investment of at least $1 million in a business employing at least ten people. Otherwise, you can opt for a passive investment of at least $500,000 in a disadvantaged structure under state supervision. By injecting your money into the American economy, you will get your Green Card after two years.
12 months or so through the visa lottery
The Visa Lottery is the only visa that allows nationals of countries with low immigration rates to obtain the US Permanent Resident Card. It is managed by the US administration and is organized every year specifically in October and November. Applications are processed for approximately six to seven months and the results are posted through the U.S. Embassy website.
The list of lucky winners is very small and to win this particular visa you have to be very lucky. If you are lucky enough to be successful, then you have to go through a long process that will take a few more months beyond 12 months.
Obtain a Green Card by marriage (8 to 10 months)
This is the fastest way to get a Green Card and become a permanent resident. This procedure can usually take a few months as it takes into account the processing period. For example, with the IR-1 visa for the spouse of a US citizen. Still called Green Card for marriage, the visa can only be obtained after eight to 10 months.
However, many people abuse it by organizing arranged marriages just to get that sesame. This led the American authorities to reinforce the rigor in the study of the submitted files. Thus, you are initially granted a temporary Green Card valid for two years. After this period of validity, you can benefit from a new Green Card valid for 10 years if you are still married.