Whether you’re getting green cards for people in your company or you’re looking to work and immigrate to the United States on a green card, it’s important that you have an idea about the general process.
Green Card = Permanent Residence = Immigrant Visa
A green card is slang for permanent residence in the United States. Permanent residence means that somebody is an immigrant and somebody who has the intent to live here and work here permanently for the rest of their lives.
While it is possible for somebody to relinquish a green card and give it up, it is a necessary prerequisite for somebody who would like to eventually become a citizen of the United States.
Change of Status to Adjustment of Status
When somebody is going from one nonimmigrant category to another nonimmigrant category in the United States, the process is called a change of status. But if somebody is in one status and is going to a green card or permanent residence in the United States, the process is called adjustment of status.
How to Get a Green Card
There are different ways of getting a green card. You can get it through a family member, through a Diversity Visa Lottery or a green card lottery (available to people from certain countries every year), or one of the employment-based options ( EB1, EB2, EB3).
It’s more and more common for startups to offer immigration as a benefit for employee retention at companies. So it’s not inconceivable that a startup might pay for a critical employee to get a green card through the marriage-based process.
For more information and resources on getting a green card, check out Immigration Law for Tech Startups podcast. If you’d like to listen, head over to Episode 004: An Overview of the Green Card Process.