U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has established various categories of eligibility for green card permanent resident status. This category will affect the person’s application process and wait time, as certain categories, such as refugees, have priority.

Explore the green card categories to determine your eligibility to live and work permanently in the U.S.

Family immigration

You may be in this category if you are:

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • The minor unmarried child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • The parent of an adult U.S. citizen
  • The sibling of an adult U.S. citizen
  • The married or adult daughter or son of a U.S. citizen
  • The fiance of a U.S. citizen
  • The widow or widower of a U.S. citizen

Employment immigration

Immigrants in certain professions may qualify for preferential green card status:

  • Physicians who agree to work in an underserved area for a specified amount of time
  • Investors dedicating at least $1 million to a U.S.-based enterprise
  • Those with extraordinary athletic, entrepreneurial, scientific or artistic abilities
  • Certain global executives and managers
  • Members of some professions that require advanced education

Other categories

You may also qualify for another special interest immigration category, such as:

  • Employee of NATO or another international organization
  • International broadcaster who will work in the U.S. media
  • Minor children designated as special interest juveniles
  • Iraq or Afghan national who worked for the U.S. government for at least one year
  • Religious worker with employment at a U.S. nonprofit organization
  • Human trafficking victim with T nonimmigrant visa
  • Crime victim with U nonimmigrant visa
  • Victim of battery or abuse
  • Cuban native or citizen, or the spouse or child of a Cuban native or citizen
  • Child of a foreign diplomat born in the U.S.

In addition to these categories, individuals who receive asylum or refugee status can apply for a green card after one year.