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2024 How to Get a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage

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2024 How to Get a Green Card in the USA Without Marriage

The United States has a rich history of immigration and, therefore, is immensely culturally diverse. Many individuals search for opportunities to come to live and work permanently in the country. While a family preference green card through marriage is a common pathway to immigration, there are a variety of other options that can be pursued. A California immigration attorney can work closely with you to learn the details of your case and goals, in addition to informing you of your options.

A green card gives immigrants the status of lawful permanent resident, and those who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including spouses, can apply for one. However, there are other, more indirect routes to lawful permanent residence available to those without family members who are citizens of the U.S.

Alternative Options to Obtain a U.S. Green Card

Marriage is just one of the many pathways that one can follow to obtain an immigrant visa, pursue lawful permanent residence, and eventually seek naturalization. Other options include work-based visas, the visa lottery, and asylum or refugee visas, among others. Consider the following options that can be viably pursued by those seeking green cards:

  • Employment-Based Visas. Employment-based visas provide an opportunity to live and work permanently in the US through meaningful employment. There are five main categories of work-based employment visas, with varying requirements depending on the type. For example, some work-based visas may require sponsorship from a company, as well as a Department of Labor certification.
  • Alternate Family Preference Visas. If you are a parent, sibling, or child of a United States citizen, you are eligible for a family-based green card that does not have a cap on the number of applicants who can be admitted each year. Furthermore, if you are a spouse or unmarried child of a lawful permanent resident, you are eligible for a family-based visa.
  • Diversity Lottery Visa. Each year, the United States picks 50,000 applicants at random to receive immigrant visas into the country. Applicants from countries who have been historically underrepresented in the immigration process are chosen from a pool of millions of applicants.
  • Asylum or Refugee Visa. Individuals who are relocated to the United States as refugees or who are granted asylum status while residing in the country are eligible to apply for a green card if they meet certain criteria.
  • Investment-Based Visa. Individuals who can invest a certain amount of money to create a business that offers full-time employment to at least ten U.S. citizens are eligible to receive an investment-based visa. The investment amount is less for those who invest in specific fields of interest.
  • Special Programs. Immigration visas are offered to individuals who are in specific special programs, including the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, which is for minors who have faced serious instances of neglect or abuse.

It is important to note that not all immigration visas require a family or company sponsor in order to meet eligibility. There are various immigration pathways that can be sought, which do not require having a spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Whether you are already located in the U.S. and trying to adjust your immigration status or are trying to find a channel to travel into the country legally, a dedicated U.S. immigration lawyer can help you understand your options. Even pursuing options such as a non-immigrant visa can help you make connections that could likely lead you to obtain an immigrant visa in the future in order to secure long-term residency.


Q: How Can I Increase My Chances of Winning the Green Card Lottery?

A: The U.S. diversity lottery offers a path to permanent residence in the United States and is offered to individuals who come from countries that have been historically underrepresented in the US immigration process. Fifty thousand visas, which are chosen completely at random, are offered annually, and there are usually between 13 million and 20 million applicants. You can increase your chances of winning by encouraging your spouse and children to apply as well if they are eligible.

Q: What Is the Most Common Way to Get a United States Green Card?

A: The most common way to obtain a United States green card is by taking the family-based immigration pathway. However, one must be a close family member of a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident, such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling, to qualify for such a visa. It’s important to note that preference for processing the application is dependent on whether the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and the particular family relationship that is held with them.

Q: Can I Get a United States Green Card Without a Sponsor?

A: Certain immigrant visas can be applied for that allow applicants to sponsor themselves instead of having to find someone to sponsor them. Foreign investors who meet certain criteria and individuals who can demonstrate that they have exceptional abilities or skills in a particular field can sponsor themselves. Individuals who have been victims of criminal activities, as well as those granted refugee or asylum status, can apply for a green card without a sponsor.

Q: What Is the California TRUTH Act?

A: The California Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds (TRUTH) Act was implemented in 2017 as a means to protect foreign nationals who were being detained by local law enforcement and transferred over to federal immigration authorities.

Under the TRUTH Act, local law enforcement is required to inform those who have been detained of their rights and give them access to an attorney. The TRUTH Act also establishes a committee that has oversight on enforcement of the act and provides feedback for implementation improvement.

Consult With a Compassionate Orange County Immigration Lawyer

Starting and building a life in the United States can come with many uncertainties for immigrants. Whether you are working on finding legal pathways to go to the United States or are already based in the area and would like to change your immigration status, our immigration lawyers at U.S. Law Center can assist you each step of the way. Contact our knowledgeable and deeply experienced immigration team to schedule your consultation.

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