USA and the UK
Overview of Getting a Green Card without Marriage
The key to getting a non-marriage-based Green Card is that there are countless alternative pathways to a Green Card. You can access a Green Card through employment, investment, refugee status, and much more.
Each pathway to a Green Card has unique requirements, but they all feature the same privileges to live and work in the USA. Read this article to learn more about these different pathways.
Several key types of Green Card categories don’t require a marriage-based Green Card. Select the relevant Green Card category listed below for your circumstances:
- Family-based Green Cards.
- Employment-based and investment-based Green Cards.
- Special immigrants Green Card.
- Diversity Immigrant Visa Green Cards.
This section introduces each of these types of Green Card, all of which will charge filing fees.
Family-based Green Card
Marriage is not the only way that being the alien relative of someone with lawful residency in the USA can give you access to a Family-Based Green Card. The following family members of US citizens or a lawful permanent resident can get a Green Card:
- An unmarried child under 21 years old.
- A parent who is over 21 years old.
- A brother or sister who is over 21 years old.
- A widower of a US citizen.
Employment-Based Green Card and Investment-Based Green Card
Immigrant workers can also access an Employment-Based Green Card without marriage if their trade fits into one of the three preference categories. Below are the categories that give eligibility to an employment-based Green Card:
- First preference: workers with an extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business, or athletics. This also applies to professors, researchers, and managers of multinational companies.
- Second preference: workers with an advanced degree or with exceptional ability in science, art, or business.
- Third preference: skilled workers with two years or more of experience, professionals with a degree, or unskilled workers in trades requiring less than two years of experience.
You can also access employment-based Green Cards as a physician who agrees to work full-time in a clinic in an underserved area. This is allowed under the Physician National Interest Waiver.
Immigrant investors are also able to access an investment-based Green Card. The following requirements allow immigrant investors to get a green card:
- Minimum investment of $1,050,000, or $800,000, in a specified targeted area.
- Investment must be for a new commercial enterprise.
- You must create at least ten full-time positions.
Special Immigrants Green Card
“Special immigrant” is a catch-all term making a range of individuals eligible to become Special Immigrant Green Card holders. If you fit into one of the below categories, you may get a Green Card:
- Religious worker.
- A special immigrant juvenile requiring protection because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment in the US.
- An Afghan or Iraqi national. These individuals may only become a special immigrant if they were employed by the US security services.
- An international broadcaster.
- A retired officer or employee within NATO organizations.
Other Green Card Eligibility Categories
Several other categories will make you eligible to be a Green Card holder. These are less commonly used but will give you access to the same rights. They include the following:
- Green Cards for victims of human trafficking.
- Green Cards for victims of abuse in the USA.
- Refugee or asylum seeker Green Cards.
- Green Card through registry, meaning you have resided in the USA continuously since before 1972.
- Education Green Card.
Diversity Immigrant Visa Green Card
Many people find that none of these visa categories apply to them. However, this does not mean you cannot access a Green Card. The Green Card lottery program has been created to open up your Green Card application if you are from a nation that is underrepresented in the USA.
Each year, 55,000 spaces are opened up for immigrant visa applicants. You must apply for the Green Card lottery and show that you have the required education and experience. You will then be put in a random lottery determining who is offered a diversity visa.
Having understood that you can get a Green Card without marriage, you can begin the Green Card application process. This immigration process requires you to supply documentation, attend interviews and medical examinations, and fulfil the requirements of whichever type of green card you have chosen to apply for. More detail on the application process is outlined in the FAQs.
At IAS, we offer a range of immigration services to any Green Card applicant and have immigration attorneys and advisors who are Green Card experts. We can help you through all stages of your application. We can also liaise with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at every stage to update you on the progress of your application.
If you decide that you don’t want to move to the USA as a permanent resident, we can also help you to achieve nonimmigrant status with a nonimmigrant visa. These will have different filing fees to Green Card applications.
Last modified on May 19th, 2023 at 8:47 am
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Getting a Green Card for the USA without marriage requires you to supply a range of different documentation. The specific documentation you need will vary depending on the type of Green Card you are applying for. However, several standard documents will prove you fit the eligibility requirements. This includes the following:
- Recent photographs.
- Information about your life.
- A birth certificate.
- Bank statements.
- Your work history and academic records.
- References to prove you have a good character.
- Your past criminal records from your home country.
You will also need to complete a form acting as your petition for a Green Card. The exact form you require will depend on the type of Green Card you are applying for.
Applying for a Green Card without marriage ties will often require you to make an application outside of the USA. If this applies to you, find the closest US embassy or consulate. Here, you can submit your petition for a Green Card and any required documentation for consular processing.