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Green Card for International Organization Employees

There is a provision of immigration law that allows certain long-term international organization employees and their eligible family members to apply for special immigrant status and become permanent residents of the U.S. (get a Green Card) as long as their organization remains recognized.

By statute (INA 101(a)(27)(L)), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a recognized international organization. Other organizations include the:

  • Organization of American States (OAS);
  • Inter-American Defense Board (IADB);
  • Inter-American Defense College (IADC);
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF);
  • World Bank;
  • International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT); and
  • International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO). 

For more information, see 9 FAM 402.3-7.

Eligibility

You are eligible for a Green Card in this category if you are admissible to the U.S. and you meet the criteria listed in the table below.

You are... And
A retired officer or employee of such an international organization (or their spouse)
  • While maintaining your status as a nonimmigrant, you have resided and been physically present in the U.S. for a total of at least half (50%) of the last seven years before you apply for adjustment of status or for a visa; 
  • You have a combined period of physical residence in the U.S. of at least 15 years before your retirement; and
  • You filed Form I-360 no later than six months after your retirement.
A surviving spouse of a deceased officer or employee of such an international organization
  • While maintaining your status as a nonimmigrant, you have resided and been physically present in the U.S. for a total of at least half (50%) of the last seven years before you apply for adjustment of status or for a visa; 
  • You have a combined period of physical residence in the U.S. of at least 15 years before the death of your spouse; and
  • You filed Form I-360 no later than six months after your spouse’s death.
An unmarried son or daughter of a current of former officer or employee of a designated international organization
  • While maintaining your status as a nonimmigrant, you have resided and been physically present in the U.S. for a total of at least half (50%) of the last seven years before you apply for adjustment of status or for a visa; 
  • You have a combined period of physical residence in the U.S. of at least seven years between the ages of 5 and 21; and
  • You apply for either a visa or adjustment of status no later than your 25th birthday.

Supporting Evidence for Form I-485

See the Checklist of Required Initial Evidence section of our Form I-485 page to see what evidence you must submit.

Work and Travel Authorization

Generally, when you have a pending Form I-485, it is possible for you to apply for authorization to work in the United States and to seek advance parole (advance permission to travel and be admitted to the United States upon your return). For more information, see our Work Authorization and Travel Documents pages.

Legal Background

For more information, see INA 101(a)(15)(G)(i) and (27)(I) and (L) and 8 CFR 101.5 and 245.

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