Green Card Eligibility
U.S. immigration laws provide a variety of ways for people to apply for a Green Card. You may be eligible to apply for a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) through your family, a job offer or employment, refugee or asylum status, or a number of other special provisions. Someone else usually must file the petition for you (often referred to as sponsoring or petitioning for you), although you may be eligible to file for yourself in some cases.
Having a Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. The steps you must take to apply for a Green Card depend on your individual situation according to the immigration category you are applying under. These include applying:
- Through family;
- Through employment;
- As a Special Immigrant;
- Through refugee or asylee status;
- As a human trafficking or crime victim;
- As a victim of abuse;
- Through a registry; or
- Through other categories.
See our Green Card Eligibility Categories page for more information.
How to File
- Read the instructions for Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- Complete and sign your Form I-485;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
After You File
Once we receive your Form I-485, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.