How to Apply for US Green Card in Kenya

The process of applying for a Green Card is usually a lengthy and rigorous one.

Kenyans who wish to go live and work in the United States should follow the following guidelines in order to be successful.

What is a Green Card?

Green Card holders “also known as permanent residents” are people given the authority to live and work in the United States permanently.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides proof of this status through a permanent resident card called a green card.

Green Cards earned their nickname because they were colored green between 1946 and 1964.

Today, regardless of their name, permanent U.S. residents aged 18 or older are required always to carry their U.S. Green Card.

If you do manage to win the Green Card Lottery, the Green Card you get lasts ten years and must be renewed. Green Cards can be renewed online, and it’s simple to do after those ten years have passed.

Conditional permanent residents, those who have earned their Green Card through investment or marriage, must renew their Green Card after two years.

How the Green card lottery works

At the National Visa Center all entries received will be separated into one of six geographic regions and individually numbered.

After the end of the application period, a computer will randomly select cases from among all the mail received for each geographic region.

Within each region, the first letter randomly selected will be the first case registered, the second letter selected the second registration, etc.

When a case has been registered, the applicant will immediately be sent a notification letter by the National Visa Center, which will provide appropriate visa application instructions.

Note: Entries that do not have all required information will be rejected. Also, entries received before or after the announced dates will be disqualified.

How to apply for a Green Card through the diversity immigrant Visa DV Lottery

The Immigrant Visa Diversity Lottery “also known as the DV Lottery” allots up to 50,000 immigrant visas ready to be handed out on a lottery basis each year.

The lottery allows nationals of countries with low immigration rates the chance to enter a random lottery to potentially receive their own immigration visa.

Applicants should register online through the US State department website during the thirty day open registration, for free.

You need to have an internet connection or go to a cyber, have a passport size photo with you which meets the photo requirements of the program, your birth certificate or ID and submit your entry electronically on the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery website.

Note: multiple entries and submitting photos which don’t meet the requirements will lead to automatic disqualification of the applicant.

Eligibility Requirements

1.Be from a country which is not excluded from participating in the Green Card Lottery.

2. Prove that you have at least a US high school diploma or an equivalent level of education. This means that you should have completed at least 12 years of formal primary and secondary schooling.

3. Alternatively, you can prove at least two years of work experience within the past five years in a qualified profession. Qualified professions are those that require at least two years of training.

4. No age limit but you need to be above 16 years to be eligible to satisfy that you have completed at least 12 years of formal primary and secondary schooling.

What are the Green Card categories?

One must be eligible under one of these categories in order to apply:

1. Family-Based Green Cards

Family sponsorship is among the most common methods for foreign nationals to enter the United States.

Green Card holders and American citizens can sponsor certain members of their family for legal status within the United States.

The U.S. citizen or Green Card holder sponsoring their relatives must prove that they can financially support the beneficiary.

U.S. citizens and Green Card holders can file immigrant petitions on behalf of their wives, husbands, and unmarried children to gain legal entry for them into the United States.

U.S. citizens enjoy being able to sponsor wider categories of relatives than Green Card holders. US Citizens can sponsor parents, brothers, sisters, and married children. US Citizens must be over age 21 to sponsor parents, brothers, and sisters.

However, there are still limits to whom a legal citizen is allowed to sponsor. They are not allowed to sponsor aunts, uncles, grandparents, grandchildren, their in-laws, or their cousins, only close relatives and next of kin.

2. Investment-Based Green Cards

Foreign nationals can gain a Green Card for the United States by creating jobs in the country through investing between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in commercial enterprises.

The investment must benefit the U.S. economy, and the national in question must have created at least ten full-time jobs for American citizens.

3. Refugee/Asylum

People who are granted asylum or refugee status within the United States are eligible for a Green Card if they meet requirements.

They can file an application for an adjustment of status and receive permanent resident status within the U.S. The system might sound daunting, but we are here to help.

4. Employment-Based Green Cards

Foreign nationals may be able to get a Green Card to stay in the United States if they receive an offer of permanent employment from an employer within the United States and if that employer is willing to sponsor them for a Green Card.

Those with higher education and ability are more likely to receive an employment-based Green Card for entry into the United States.

How many times can you apply for a Green Card?

The law specifies there must be a separate application for each year’s visa lottery.

The fact that a person has registered for Visa Lotteries in the past has no effect on the next Visa Lottery.

Each person who wishes to be included in the next Lottery must submit a new application.

Furthermore, each applicant is limited to only one application.

However, a husband and a wife may each submit one Green Card lottery application.

If you receive a Green Card through the lottery, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will also get green cards at the same time as you.

Unmarried children under 21 may be included on each of their parents’ application forms. All children over 21 years of age must file separate applications.

Note: Submitting separate applications for you and your spouse double your chances of winning.

How will you know if you won the green card lottery?

Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries.

Only winners will be notified by mail at the address listed on their application.

The notifications will be sent to the winners between April and July, along with instructions on how to apply for an immigrant visa.

Persons not selected will NOT be notified.  Anyone who does NOT receive a letter will know that his/her application has not been selected.

U.S. embassies and consulates will not be able to provide a list of successful applicants.

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