When people talk about US Green Card, they are simply talking about getting a permanent residence status. In this post, I will enlighten you about The Easiest Ways to Get a United States Green Card as a Nigerian. Many people visit the US under different visa category such as visitor, tourist, student etcetera, but for those willing to stay in the US for much longer time or live in the state permanently, it is essential to update your status to permanent residence or in the popular slogan, Get a green card. The wait for green card can be as long as 10-15 years and in some lucky instances less than 1 year.
The latest US immigration framework is structured to distinguish and categorize applications based on certain pointers, the essence of this is to treat application based on set preferences. Some application are faster because they fall in the “more preferred” category.
US Immigrant Visa Bulletin
The US immigrant visa bulletin, located on the official US government website https://travel.state.gov, publishes immigrant visa category, available green card that can be given in a year, and the number of applicants by country. This information are updated yearly and based on US immigration law, there is limit to the number of green card than can be issued under each category per year. Based on the bulletin listing, here is the list of categories that Nigerians can apply for.
Employment based Green Card
This is a path to permanent residence whereby the employer apply for a green card for the employee. This is not anyway fast as the next category listed below but considering the employee will, at first, be placed on working visa HB, the wait time might not really be a concern. It could take many years before it’s completed and the employer has to go through many procedures to satisfy the US government that the employee is deserving of an employment based permanent residence status.
Talking of the procedures, the employer must file a labor certification with the department of labor certifying that no qualified US citizens’ workers are available or willing to do the job and recruiting an alien is the only available solution. The required documents to proof this are sample of the job advertisement post, detailed required skills, remuneration plan and the employer capacity to pay.
Most employers do not want to risk legal consequences of their action if their proof did not pass, so they mostly refuse to apply for employee, leaving them to sort out their green card problems. In cases where employer applies, the employee must really have a skill that worth it.
Family Based Green Card
This is the path many Nigerians take to get green card. Luckily, it is the fastest and could be completed in less than a year. Talking about fastest, the family category that fall under “immediate family” receive priority process and this include Spouses of a US citizen, Parent of a US citizen and Children of a US citizen that are below 21 years age. Other family based classification are adult children of a US citizen both married and unmarried, grand children of a US citizens and so many other relatives that can be categorized as immediate family. But the first 3 mentioned above has the fastest route to permanent residence.
Marriage for the purpose of green card in the US is illegal as this is very common among many nationals not just Nigerians. The US government takes time to confirm that the marriage is not for the purpose of getting green card by doing some investigation, the following are the ways to pass the verification test in order to have a successful green card application under spouse category.
- Living together: First not living together as a couple after marriage could raise suspicions to the authenticity of the marriage, Therefore, after the marriage, you are advised to stay together at least till the process is completed.
- How long you have met: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will conduct series of interviews to understand how well the couple knows each other which can be a convincing factor that they are really a real couple.
- Having Children: Having a child after marriage is a very convincing element of a good marital life.
- Having properties together: The couple should try to buy properties together, it will further strengthen the marriage authenticity.
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