Do you want to immigrate to the USA permanently? Between the application for an immigrant visa, the work permit and the Green Card lottery, many means, more or less arduous, are available to help you realize your American dream.

The green card can be obtained in different ways depending on your situation (if you already work in the USA, if you already have a visa, if you have a family member who is an American citizen, etc.)


The Green Card, unlike ESTA or visas, is a permanent resident card valid in the United States. It is an identification document that works like an identity card and is issued by USCIS (the American Citizenship and Immigration Service).

This green card allows non-American nationals to immigrate, settle and work legally on American soil, but also to carry out an internship or even to study at an American university, without need to apply for a specific USA visa at the American Embassy.

Obtaining a Green Card offers practically the same advantages, rights and duties as an average American citizen, with the exception of the right to vote. A resident with a green card will never, however, be called as a juror during a trial. Unlike a US citizen, the Green Card holder can be expelled from the USA.

It is a permanent residence card that allows you to stay on American territory, but does not give the right to American citizenship. Its owner is subject to the laws and taxes of the USA, but is not considered to be an American citizen. To pass this stage, you must apply for naturalization. However, this request can only take place after having benefited from his card for at least five years.

The holder of this card must always be in possession of their Green Card in the event of a police check or regularity check of their stay.


There are different possibilities for obtaining a USA Green Card. The 5 main possibilities are:

  1. sponsorship by a member of your family: an adult American citizen, that is to say over the age of 21, can sponsor the request for a green card from their spouse , parents and children, or even their brothers and older sisters. By marrying someone with American citizenship. Note however that this specific green card only has a validity period of two years in order to avoid white marriages. If the marriage is still active after these two years, the person holding the green card can renew it for a period of 10 years.
  2. sponsorship by your employer: you can get a green card through your employer , but it is up to them to take the initiative so that you get the coveted sesame. Certain other profiles, such as renowned artists, sportsmen or scientists, may be entitled to the Green Card. Foreign investors, after having injected a substantial sum into a business, may also be entitled to it.
  3. Participate in the Green Card Lottery : the Green Card Lottery is probably the easiest way to apply, although only a small percentage of participants leave with a Green Card. If you are one of the lucky ones, you can work in the USA thanks to the American lottery. If your country of origin is the United Kingdom, Mexico or Canada, you cannot, at present, claim to the diversity visa.
  4. for political reason: people with political refugee status or asylum seekers can also have a Green Card under certain conditions.

Once obtained, a Green Card is valid for life, under certain conditions, and must be renewed every 10 years.