A lot of people dream of moving to the United States and calling the free country home. But to do so, they need to go through a lengthy and often complex immigration process.

3 Ways to Immigrate to the United States

There are three common ways to get citizenship or lawful permanent resident status in the United States: sponsorship by a family member, sponsorship by a U.S. employer or self-sponsorship, and the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Sponsorship by a Family Member

An applicant who has family in the U.S. can be sponsored by their relatives to get a family-based green card. In order to become a sponsor, they must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident related to the beneficiary, either as a brother or sister, parent, child, or spouse.

Sponsorship by a U.S. Employer or Self-Sponsorship

If the applicant has been hired by a U.S. company, they can be sponsored by their employers to get a green card. This process is often handled by the employers themselves, working with an immigration lawyer to get all the paperwork in order.

In unique cases, there is also a process called self-sponsorship where the applicant sponsors or petitions themselves to work in the United States. This is reserved for those who work for the national interest of the United States or possess extraordinary ability in their field.

Diversity Visa Lottery

The U.S. can also grant immigration status to a person without any conditions. This is done through the Diversity Visa Lottery. In this mechanism, people can apply to join the lottery between October and November of each year. If their names or numbers are drawn, they can receive a U.S. green card.

To be eligible to join the Diversity Visa Lottery, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a high school graduate
  • Must not be from a country not qualified to be in the Diversity Visa Lottery

Signing up for the lottery is free of charge and can be done on the State Department website.