Earning citizenship in the United States can be rewarding. Once you gain citizenship, you earn the rewards to lay down family roots, file for medical and financial aid and vote on your legal rights. However, before you can earn your citizenship, you have to go through a legal process just like millions of others.
While you could receive a visa, which would grant you temporary residence and employment in the US, your aim is to receive full citizenship through naturalization. To go through the naturalization process, you’ll have to get a green card first. A green card verifies your right to permanent residence, and the right to live and work in the US.
You have several ways to get a green card. Here’s what you should know:
#1. Marry your way to citizenship
You may be lucky to have someone in your life who’s a US citizen. Your nonnative status can make it difficult if you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with them on American soil. However, you may be able to get your green card by marrying someone who already has citizenship.
#2. Have a family member petition for a green card
If you have family who has already gone through the immigration and naturalization processes, earning their right to citizenship, or family who are native-born in the US, then they may be able to petition you for a green card.
#3. Receive a US education student work-permit
Education is one of the many benefits of being in the US. For some people, you don’t have to be a citizen to earn a US education. There may be schools willing to give immigrants student related work-permits, which may allow you to apply for a green card.
#4. Work in the US
Much like a student work-permit, you may be able to find a company or employer willing to grant you a work-permit for employment in the US. This work-permit may allow you to petition for a green card.
There are many other ways to receive a green card. You may want to know your legal options when seeking citizenship in the United States.