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How To Get A Green Card

Full Video Transcript

There are several ways to get a green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Others may become permanent residents through refugee or [asylum] status or other humanitarian programs. In some cases, you may even be able to self-petition or have a record created for permanent residence on your behalf. While each of these categories have their own special requirements, in general, you must file the appropriate immigrant petition with the UCSIS (for instance, a petition for an alien relative, an alien worker, or other special status), successfully prove that you meet the eligibility requirements for admission, and pay the appropriate filing fees or obtain a fee waiver. Many immigration forms also require photographs to be submitted with the petition and some require fingerprint cards. The immigration forms have detailed instructions about where to file, which also may vary with specific circumstances. Given the large volume of petitions, green cards are approved based on a preference system, for example with priority to immediate relatives or workers with extraordinary abilities. Detailed information is available at

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