A woman obtaining a green card through an employment visa

Green Card through Employment: Exploring Alternatives

A woman obtaining a green card through an employment visa

Green Card through Employment: Exploring Alternatives

Green Card Through Employment: 5 minutes read

Obtaining a Green Card in the United States through an employment-based visa is a pathway sought out by many foreign nationals seeking to work and reside in the US permanently. While employment-based visas are a popular route, there are alternative paths that can lead to this coveted status. In this special blog, let’s explore the popular alternatives to employment-based visas for securing a Green Card and provide insights into their potential challenges, criteria, and advantages.

Family-Based Green Card Sponsorship

One common alternative to an employment-based Green Card is family sponsorship is for individuals that have close relatives who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, they possess the ability to sponsor you for a family-based Green Card. Immediate relatives, such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21, traditionally have priority in this category.


  • Faster processing times compared to other employment-based visas. 


  • No strict job requirements or employer involvement. 


  • Limited to certain immediate family relationships. 


  • Waiting times can vary based on the family member’s immigration status. 

The Diversity Visa Lottery

The Diversity Visa (DV) lottery, commonly known as the Green Card lottery, is a U.S. immigration program that offers an opportunity for foreign nationals to obtain a Green Card, which grants them the status of a permanent resident. The primary goal of the DV lottery is to diversify the immigrant population in the United States by providing a chance for individuals to pursue their American dream.  

Each year, the U.S. Department of State conducts a random drawing to select winners from eligible countries. To qualify, these foreign national applicants must meet specific education or work experience requirements, have a clean record of criminal activity, and be natives of eligible countries. After an individual is selected in the DV lottery, they may apply for a Green Card and, upon approval, enjoy the many privileges and opportunities that come with permanent resident status in the United States. 


  • An employer sponsorship or specific job offer is not required.


  • Open to nationals of all eligible countries, which in a traditional sense, change annually. 


  • Limited number of visas administered and highly competitive.


  • Winning the lottery does not guarantee immediate approval. Applicants must still meet certain criteria. 

Investment-Based Green Card

The EB5 Visa is an immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to invest and obtain a green card to reside in the U.S. as a permanent resident. This visa is especially popular for wealthy foreign investors that seek more of a permanent life in the U.S. without the need of sponsorship from a family member or employer. 

Furthermore, this visa entails a minimum investment amount of $800,000USD if the investment is made in a location of a high employment area. According to USCIS the standard investment amount is $1.8 million USD. Like every visa, there are requirements each EB5 candidate must meet to be considered eligible. 


  •  Potential for faster processing times for a Green Card. 


  • No requirement for a specific job offer or employer sponsorship. 


  • High investment threshold. 


  • Complex requirements. 

While employment-based visas are considerably a popular route to a Green Card in the United States, there are several alternative paths that can lead you to the same goal. Depending on your unique circumstances, you may find one of these alternatives to be a more suitable and viable option. However, a crucial step in the process is understanding the importance of consulting with an immigration attorney to determine the best path for your specific circumstance, as each alternative has its own requirements, rules, and regulations. Regardless of the route you choose, obtaining a Green Card through legal means can open doors of opportunity in the land full of them! 

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