Seeking Refuge In the United States

When most people think about immigration, they imagine people sneaking in from other countries or trying to hide from criminal charges. What most people don't realize about immigration, however, is how difficult it is to live other places. In my native homeland, I had a difficult time feeding my kids on a shoestring budget, and I worried about safety on a daily basis. I needed an immigration attorney to make my dreams of a peaceful existence possible. I created this blog to help you to see how much of a difference the right legal counsel can make, so that you don't have to worry about the future.

Beyond Family: 4 Ways to Get a Green Card without a US Citizen Relative


Do you want to immigrate to the United States? Your best path may be with a green card, which allows you to live in the United States as a permanent resident and eventually become a citizen. For many people, the easiest route to a green card is through a relative who is a United States citizens. Spouses and immediate family members of citizens are given first priority for green cards. Extended family members get secondary priority. If you don't have a citizen relative, though, this may not be an option. You have alternatives. Here are four other ways in which you may qualify for a green card.

Preferred employees. The Unites States often distributes green cards to immigrants based on the immigrant's ability to contribute to the country's economy or culture. For example, if you have a highly unique skill or set of knowledge that is in-demand by US employers, then you may be able to get a green card. That's also true if you are a university professor who is needed by American colleges. Entrepreneurs also fall into this category. If you are willing to invest a sizable amount of money into a business and hire new workers, then the US may grant you a green card to enter the country.

Ethnic diversity lottery. Each year, the United States holds a lottery to distribute green cards to immigrants from nations that aren't commonly represented in American society. There a handful of nations that aren't eligible for the lottery because they already send a substantial number of immigrants to the United States. However, immigrants from all other countries are eligible. To be considered for the lottery, you must have a high school education and must have some work experience. However, those are the only stipulations to enter.

Refugee and asylum. Are you facing persecution in your home country because of your race, gender, political beliefs, or religion? If so, you could qualify for a green card under the US asylum program. If you are outside the United States, you request refugee status through the State Department. Or you can approach a US border entry point and request asylum. Your case will then be considered. If granted, you will be able to enter the country and may apply for a green card after living in the United States for a designated period of time.

Long-time resident amnesty. In recent years, the United States has begun granting asylum and green cards to long-time residents who originally entered the country illegally. Each case is decided on its own merits. Generally, the government wants to see that you have not broken any laws and that you have been employed and contributing to society. They also may want to see that your family would be negatively impacted if you were deported.

To apply for any of these, you will likely need help from an immigration attorney. This is especially true if you are applying for long-term resident amnesty. If you do it without legal assistance, you may end up triggering your own deportation.


24 June 2015