5 Ways to Get US Permanent Residence

Many people dream of establishing permanent residence in the United States of America for a lot of reasons not limited to education, career prospects, family reunion, etc. This is due to the unending opportunities that can be found in the country, which have made the place one of the most visited countries in the world. The process of obtaining US permanent residence is a complex one and is time-consuming. However, with proper guidance and adequate planning, it is achievable. In this blog post, we will go over five common ways of obtaining permanent residence in the US.

Family –Based Sponsorship

One of the most common ways of obtaining US permanent residence is through family sponsorships. This basically involves a US citizen or US permanent resident sponsoring the immigration of their close relatives into the US. These relatives can include their spouses or common-law partners, children, parents, siblings, etc. This method does not include relatives like grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members. This group of people can only apply for permanent residence in the US if they also have close relatives of their own who are US citizens or permanent residents.

The process of obtaining permanent residence through family sponsorships involves filing an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and meeting certain eligibility criteria. The period of processing a US permanent residence application through family sponsorships can vary based on the applicant’s country of origin and the relationship between the US citizens and the applicants.


Employment-based Permanent Residence

Applying for permanent residence through employment is the best option for individuals who want to settle in the US based on their skills or work experience prior to immigration. This method primarily involves a foreigner securing a job offer from a US employer who is willing and ready to sponsor the applicants’ immigration. There are different categories of permanent residence based on employment. These include EB-1 visas for priority workers, EB-2 for Advanced Degree Professionals, EB-3 for skilled and unskilled workers, and EB-4 for special immigrants. Each of these categories has its own particular requirements and application procedure.


Diversity Visa Lottery Program

The diversity visa is also referred to as “the Green Card Lottery”. It provides opportunities for individuals from countries having low immigration rates to the US to obtain permanent residence (Green Card). Each year, the US government conducts a lottery where 50,000 immigrants are invited to the US to receive permanent residence and start a new life in the country. If selected, the individual must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete the required application process within the given time frame in order to secure permanent residence. Most of these lottery applicants live in their home country at the time of the lottery while a few of them are already living in the United States under one kind of immigration program.


Refugee or Asylum Status

Foreigners granted refuge or asylum in the United States can also apply for US permanent residence so far they meet the requirements. Refugees are those who are forced out of their countries due to life-threatening circumstances. These individuals can apply for permanent residence after living in the US for at least one year.  If after a year, they are still in the US, they may face deportation unless they are able to prove that their deportation from the US would cause a severe problem to another US citizen or US permanent resident. Another eligibility requirement is that their refugee status hasn’t been terminated and they haven’t already obtained a US permanent residence through other means.


Permanent Residence for Longtime Residents

Individuals who have been residing in the US before January 1, 1972, either legally through temporary residence or illegally can apply for permanent residence through the immigration program known as “registry”.  This group of people must however meet the eligibility criteria before they can be documented as permanent residents in the US. They must have been living in the country since 1972 without leaving the country since their arrival date.

The applicants must also be of good moral character and must be eligible for naturalization. They must also haven’t been wanting of any crime that could make them deportable or inadmissible such as drug abuse, marriage fraud, smuggling, or staying in the US for over six months with an expired Visa. Once they satisfy all the eligibility criteria, they do not need any other serious documentation to become registered as permanent citizens of the United States.

The primary documents they need to be registered are their passport-style photographs, a copy of their birth certificate, a copy of their passport page, evidence to establish their continuous stay in the country since January 1, 1972, and others. They are not required to go under medical checkups or provide policy reports to become eligible.

These are just five of the common methods of obtaining US permanent residence even though the United States of America offers more ways of obtaining permanent residence in the country. Some of these ways include green cards for special immigrants, human trafficking victims, crime victims, abuse victims, and so on.



Many individuals desire to settle and remain in the United States as permanent residents for various reasons which all aim at living a better life. However to be able to live permanently in the US and enjoy the unrestricted benefits like a full US citizen would, you need to pass through one of the legal means of obtaining permanent residence. These ways include the family sponsorship method, employment-based immigration, the Diversity visa lottery program, and others. Each of these methods has its own eligibility criteria, requirements, and application process.

It is essential to make thorough research and understand the eligibility criteria. You should seek guidance from immigration experts so they can provide valuable assistance to help you throughout the application process. And once you reach the United States, it is important to be aware of the culture and respect the country’s rules and regulations.