Up next in How to Understand Legal Issues (19 videos)
Stay on the right side of the law, and learn how to navigate the legal system, with these videos.
You Will Need
- Clean record
- Senator or local representative
- Asylum or refugee status
- American spouse
- Lawyer (optional)
Check for eligibility
Check for eligibility at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department website, USCIS.gov, and be sure you have a clean record before applying for a green card to avoid costly errors and delays later on.
Take a crack at the national lottery put on by the United States government that awards 50,000 immigrants with permanent legal status each year.
Use a connection
Ask a family member who is already a U.S. citizen to sponsor you, or look for employment and then apply for a green card with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department once you find a job.
Secure a job
Secure a job and have your permanent employer file an Immigration Petition for you, or apply for a green card with a specialized job such as religious worker or an international organization employee. Information on the eligibility for specialized work is available on the USCIS website.
Contact your senator or representative
Contact your senator or local representative and make your case to gain citizenship, as they can speed up the process and help with red tape.
Apply for asylum or refugee status
Apply for asylum if you fear persecution upon returning to your country, or refugee status if you have been displaced by war, famine, or civil unrest.
Marry an American
Meet, fall in love with, and marry a natural-born citizen. Apply for a green card after you get your marriage certificate.