How To Get a Green Card Without Marriage

Obtaining a U.S. green card is an important goal for many aspiring immigrants. However, many mistakenly believe their paths to permanent residency are limited. Marriage to a U.S. citizen is a commonly known method but not the only option. 

This thorough guide explores diverse routes to obtaining a U.S. green card. EB5 Global Ventures’ experienced immigration professionals provide immigration solutions to help clients understand their immigration process. 

Green Card Application Processes Without Marriage

The U.S. offers different routes for obtaining a green card without marriage. These can include: 

  • Employment-based visas
  • Family sponsorship (other than spouse)
  • Diversity visa lottery
  • Refugee and/or asylum status
  • Investor visas like the EB-5 visa program for a green card  

Each immigration path has criteria that require careful exploration and compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Each method caters to individual circumstances and requirements. Let's explore each option further below: 

Employment-Based Visas

  • EB-1A: Alien of Extraordinary Ability
  • EB-1B: Outstanding Researcher/Outstanding Professor
  • EB 1C: Manager and Executive Transferees
  • NIW: National Interest Waiver
  • EB-2: Advanced Degree
  • EB-3: Skiller Worker

Family Sponsorship

U.S. citizens can sponsor their immediate relatives, including their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents (when the sponsor is over 21). This includes: 

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children
  • Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of permanent residents
  • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children
  • Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children (if the U.S. citizen sponsor is over 21)

Diversity Visa Lottery

The Diversity Visa Lottery program is open to individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S. Eligibility is based primarily on the country of birth and, in some cases, education or work experience. 

Refugee and Asylum Status

Refugee status is obtainable to individuals who are outside their country of nationality and are unable or unwilling to return due to persecution or a fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Asylum status can be an option for individuals who are already in the U.S. or are seeking admission at a port of entry.

Investment Visa

The EB-5 Investor Visa Program can be a favorable option for those seeking a green card through economic investment. This program encourages foreigners to invest financial resources in the U.S. economy, creates jobs, and encourages economic growth.

To qualify for the EB-5 program, investors must:

  • Invest $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or $1,050,000 in other areas
  • Ensure the investment leads to the creation of ten full-time jobs or more
  • Demonstrate that the funds are legally obtained and invested in a commercial enterprise

EB5 Global Ventures specializes in assisting clients throughout the EB-5 process. Our services include:

  • Identifying EB-5 projects that meet the client's investment goals and comply with USCIS regulations
  • Assisting with legal documentation and compliance
  • Providing ongoing support and due diligence throughout the application and investment process

Benefits and Challenges of Alternative Green Card Methods

Steering the path to a Green card without marriage involves balancing the advantages and disadvantages of each method. Here we provide a detailed look at the benefits and challenges of pursuing each route:

Employment-Based Visas Benefits and Challenges

Employment-based visas provide an avenue to permanent residency because they cater to a range of professionals. For many immigrants, this route also offers the ideal opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the U.S. and establish a solid career path.

However, one of the biggest hurdles is the annual quota for these kinds of visas. When employer sponsorship is required, this is potentially limiting for those who want job flexibility and mobility. This process could also be costly, time-consuming, and offers no guarantee of success.

Family Sponsorship Benefits and Challenges

Family sponsorship caters to a broader range of relationships beyond the spouse, including children, parents, and siblings. One of the major challenges in family sponsorship is the extended waiting period. This process also requires substantial documentation to prove familial ties, and financial sponsorship requirements that demonstrate U.S. relative can financially support the immigrant.

Diversity Visa Lottery Benefits and Challenges

The Diversity Visa Lottery does not require sponsorship and offers a chance for individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. to obtain a green card. Since applicants are selected by lottery, the odds of being selected can be low. There are also strict eligibility requirements, and a limited number of visas per country available each year.

Refugee or Asylum Status Challenges and Benefits

This pathway protects individuals who are facing serious threats or persecution in their home countries. However, obtaining refugee or asylum status can be very challenging. Applicants must provide compelling evidence of persecution or fear of persecution on specific grounds. Also, the current global and political climate will influence approval rates and asylum applicants.

EB5 Global Ventures Can Help With Green Cards

Obtaining a green card through investment without marriage is feasible through various programs with different requirements and challenges. With the guidance of EB5 Global Ventures, opening doors to permanent residency in the U.S. for many individuals and their families has never been easier.