Foreign immigrants may qualify for a green card under The Immigration and Nationality Act to the United States based on a relationship to a U.S. citizen.
Brothers, sisters, and adult or married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, or the spouse of a U.S. permanent resident are identified as family based immigrants.
Immigrant visas are issued in the order in which the petitions were filed until the numerical limit for the family based category is reached.
U.S. Family Based Visas fall into one of the below categories:
- Family First Preference - Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children, if any.
- Family Second Preference - Spouses, minor unmarried children and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or older) of lawful permanent residents.
- Family Third Preference - Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children.
- Family Fourth Preference - Brothers and sisters of United States citizens and their spouses and minor children provided the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age.
Treaty Investor Visa E-2
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a sizeable amount of capital in a U.S. business.
Treaty Trader Visa E-1
The E-1 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.
To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- Carry on substantial trade
- Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.
Intra-Company Transfer Visa L-1
To qualify for L-1 classification in this category, the employer must:
- Have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company; and
- Currently be, or will be, doing business as an employer in the United States and in at least one other country directly or through a qualifying organization for the duration of the beneficiary’s stay in the United States.
North American Free Trade Agreement Professional Visa (TN)
The Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico, under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
A citizen of a NAFTA country may work in a professional occupation in the U.S. when:
- the profession is recognized under NAFTA; and
- the foreigner possesses specific qualifications in certain professional occupations; and
- the potential position requires someone in that professional capacity; and
- the foreigner is going to work for a U.S. employer.