US Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are for individuals who wish to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status (commonly known as a "green card") in order to work and reside permanently in the United States.

After obtaining a green card, one enjoys several benefits, such as:

• a basically unlimited residence permit,
• ability to select any job, employer or employment relationship (including self-employment)
• the ability to help spouses and unmarried children obtain a green card, and
• the ability to become a U.S. citizen after meeting all requirements.

However, green card status also comes with some obligations, such as:

• U.S. tax obligations, which may continue not only while in the U.S. but also after moving outside the U.S.,
• The obligation, as a male between 18 and 25 years of age, to register with the U.S. enlistment system ("Selective Service"), and
• The obligation to take steps to avoid losing one’s green card status through extended stays outside the U.S. or other significant life changes (e.g., accepting a job or buying property outside the U.S.).

The five most common methods for obtaining an immigrant visa are:

• Family reunification or kinship with a U.S. citizen or green card holder (IR, CR, F1, F2, F3, and F4 visas),
• An employment relationship with a U.S. employer, such as a professor or "multinational" Manager or executive (EB-1B, EB-1C, EB-2, and EB-3 visas),
• Exceptional ability, e.g., in business, the arts, sports, film, or television (EB-1A),
• Qualifying investments in U.S. businesses or U.S. companies of at least $900,000 (EB-5), and.
• The green card lottery, also known as the diversity visa lottery (DV visa).