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Some of the ways to obtain a green card

A majority of green card applicants in Florida have a family member legally residing in the United States or a job offer from a U.S. employer. However, there are some other ways that immigrants without a family member or job in the United States can apply for permanent residency.

One of the most well-known ways to apply for a green card without a job or family in the country is through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. This program is commonly referred to as the 'Green Card Lottery" and provides as many as 50,000 green cards each year to people from countries that have few immigrants already living in the United States. In addition to this program, there are also paths to obtaining a green card for citizens of certain countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Afghanistan.

Some of the lesser-known paths to obtaining a green card in the United States are designed to help victims of criminal activity. The U visa was created for immigrants who would like to assist criminal investigators after suffering from mental or physical abuse. Victims of human trafficking may apply for a T visa, and foreign children who have been neglected or abused in the United States may qualify for the Special Immigrant Juveniles program.

Someone may choose to apply for a green card in one of these ways if they do not have any family in the United States or an offer of employment. Because immigration law changes all the time, it is always advisable to consult with an immigration attorney, who may be able to help a client apply for a green card under a category that fits a unique situation.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Green Card", September 19, 2014

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