There are many reasons a person may want to apply for a green card in the United States.
While the process varies a little with each person depending on their situation, there is a general process that most people go through when trying to obtain a green card.
Determine your eligibility category
There are several eligibility categories available when applying for a green card. Depending on your individual situation, you may apply based on your employment status, family status or if you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. There is a category for if you are a refugee or asylee. There are categories based on being the victim of crimes and abuse. Review all the categories available to determine which fits your situation.
File an immigrant petition
Find someone to file an immigrant petition on your behalf. The type of petition filed depends on your eligibility category. For example, there are specific petitions for relatives, workers and refugees. While you may file this petition for yourself in some cases, most cases require that you find someone to sponsor or petition for you.
Go to your appointments
After approval of your petition, if a visa is available for you, you will then file your application for a green card with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The next requirement is to attend an appointment to provide fingerprints and photos. An interview appointment will follow. Attend all of your appointments and provide the requested information.
If approved, you will receive written notice followed by your green card in the mail. If denied, you will receive a notice explaining why. You may have the option to appeal or petition to reopen your case.