If you’re an unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen, or if you’re the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old, you could be eligible as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.
Additionally, you may qualify if you’re the unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen when you’re 21 or older, the married child of a U.S. citizen, or sibling of a U.S. citizen who’s at least 21 years old.
You may also qualify for a green card if you’re related to a lawful permanent resident – but you must be the unmarried child of the lawful permanent resident to qualify.
If you are the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, the abused parent of a U.S. citizen, or an abused child who is unmarried and under the age of 21, you may be able to petition the U.S. government for your own green card.
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You may be able to apply for a green card as an immigrant worker, a physician, or an immigrant investor. This is a special category for people who fall into “preference” categories, which means some people are more preferred candidates for green cards.
If you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, you are an outstanding professor or researcher, or you are a multinational manager of executive who meets certain criteria, you’re a first-preference immigrant worker.
If you’re a member of a profession that requires an advanced degree, you have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business, or you’re seeking a national interest waiver, you may be a second-preference immigrant worker.
Finally, if you’re a skilled worker performing a job that requires a minimum of two years of training or work experience, a professional performing a job that requires at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent (and you’re a member of the profession), or an unskilled worker performing unskilled labor that requires less than two years of training or experience, you may qualify as a third-preference immigrant worker.
If you’re a physician who will work in a designated underserved area for a specific period of time (and you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may also qualify for an employment-based green card. Likewise, if you have invested or you’re actively involved in the process of investing at least $1.8 million (or $900,000 in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees, you may qualify for an employment-based green card.
Some people qualify for green cards because they’re considered “special immigrants.” Special immigrants are typically:
- Religious workers
- Special immigrant juveniles, who are minors who need the protection of a juvenile court due to abuse, abandonment or neglect by a parent
- People who were Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters for the U.S. government, or were employed for the U.S. government or International Security Assistance Force
- International broadcasters
- Employees of international organizations or family members or NATO-6 employees or family members
These categories may not apply to you – particularly if you only came to the U.S. to marry your now-former spouse.
If you were admitted to the United States at least one year ago as a refugee or asylee, you may qualify for a green card, regardless of your marital status.
Refugees are those who are granted permission to come to the U.S. before arrival at a port of entry; asylees are those who ask for the United States’ protection while already inside the country.
There are a few specific categories that you may qualify for if you cannot get a green card because you divorced your spouse. You may be eligible to apply under:
- Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness, but only if you’re a Liberian national who’s been continuously present in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, or you are the child under the age of 21, or unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21 of a qualifying Liberian national.
- Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, but only if you were selected for a diversity visa in the Department of State’s diversity visa lottery.
- Cuban Adjustment Act, but only if you’re a Cuban native or citizen, or you’re the spouse or child of a Cuban native or citizen.
- Dependent status under the HRIFA, but only if you’re the spouse or child (in your case, you must be the child) of a lawful permanent resident who received a green card based on the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act
- Lautenberg parolee
- Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000, but only if you are a native citizen of Vietnam, Kampuchea or Laos who was paroled into the United States on or before October 1, 1997 from Vietnam under the Orderly Departure Program, a refugee camp in East Asia, or a displaced person camp administered by UNHCR in Thailand
- American Indian born in Canada, but only if you have at least 50 percent American Indian heritage, were born in Canada, and maintain a principal residence in the United States
- Person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat
- Section 13 diplomat who is unable to return home
If you have resided continuously in the United States since before January 1, 1972, you may be eligible to register for a green card.
If you’re unable to provide supporting documentation that shows USCIS you were involved in a bona fide marriage after your naturalization interview, the agency can deny your application. Supporting evidence isn’t always necessary, though – you may simply have to answer a few questions during your interview.
Parties who are interested in applying for, renewing, changing their name or removing conditions on the green card, or even applying for their naturalization can request a free consultation today.
Related: What is a bona fide marriage?