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Am I eligible for an employment-based green card?

You want to become a lawful, permanent resident in the U.S., and for that, you need to get a green card. There are many pathways to apply for a green card. You could be engaged to an American citizen. Perhaps you have a close relative who’s a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Maybe you’re eligible for refugee or asylum status.

Many people, however, don’t have the right connections or personal history to qualify for a green card through one of these avenues. Nonetheless, many people want to come to the U.S. to work. In today’s post, we discuss three options for employment-based immigrants to qualify for a green card.

Immigrant worker

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prioritizes immigrant workers under three preference categories:

  • First preference: Individuals with extraordinary skills in the sciences, arts, business, education or sports. A candidate who has achieved internationally-recognized status (e.g., an Olympic athlete or a high-level multinational executive) would likely fall under this category.
  • Second preference: Individuals with exceptional skills in the above areas—often accompanied by advanced degrees.
  • Third preference: Other professionals, skilled workers or unskilled workers


A qualifying doctor can be eligible for a green card if they agree to undertake clinical work in an underserved area in the U.S. for a fixed period of time.

Business investor

Wealthy business people who invest in the U.S. economy have the opportunity to earn a green card. Eligible candidates must invest at least $1 million in a U.S.-based company, which will create jobs for at least 10 American employees.

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