How to Immigrate to the U.S. Permanently

As immigration lawyers in the U.S., people reach out to us a lot to ask: What are my options for getting a "green card" and immigrating to the U.S. permanently? Below is an overview of the basic requirements. Contact us at or 415-496-9040 to learn more.

Generally a petitioner/sponsor is necessary. The sponsor can be (1) a U.S. employer, (2) a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) spouse or parent, or (3) a U.S. citizen sibling or child over the age of 21. If an employer is willing to sponsor you, then they will be the one working with us (the lawyers) and the government, and will need to contact us directly to get started. If a family member is able and willing to sponsor you, then you will need to prove the familial relationship. If your spouse is the sponsor, then you will need to show that the marriage is real and not just for immigration purposes. You will also need to prove that your family member makes sufficient income - otherwise a cosponsor or assets will be necessary. Required income varies based on the sponsor's household size, but for year 2019 it starts at around $22,000 per year.

Self-sponsorship for a green card is possible in limited circumstances. If you can prove extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim, then it may be possible to apply for a green card without a sponsor. We offer a thorough initial legal evaluation to determine whether this is possible.

The diversity visa (DV) lottery is an option in some cases. If you are a citizen of a country included in the DV lottery program, then you can submit an application to be entered into a lottery to obtain a U.S. green card. You can learn more here:

You - the person seeking the green card - must prove your identity and eligibility. The government looks at a lot of factors to determine eligibility. These include (but are not limited to) prior criminal history, history of prior visas and visits to the U.S., past immigration violations, and prior misrepresentations made to gain a benefit here in the U.S. We offer a thorough initial legal evaluation to ensure that you will be eligible for a green card before you begin the process.

Contact us today at or 415-496-9040 to learn more about applying for a green card!