What is the Fastest Way to Get a U.S. Green Card?

A key benefit of having a Green Card is that it allows you to become a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.

At the start of 2024, nearly 35 million Green Card applications were pending. And while there are numerous ways to secure one, some are more efficient than others.

This guide explores the benefits of the U.S. Green Card and examines the fastest way to obtain one.

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What is a U.S. Green Card?

The U.S. Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, provides lawful permanent resident status for foreign nationals.

Green Cards are issued by the U.S. government and allow holders to live, work, and travel freely within the country. They also grant access to certain federal and state benefit

The benefits of having a Green Card

A U.S. Green Card offers several benefits, including

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Legal residence

One of the key benefits of having a Green Card is that it grants the right to live and work in the U.S.

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Protection under U.S. law

Like U.S. citizens, Green Card holders are protected under U.S. law. This includes both federal and state laws.

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Education benefits

The U.S. is home to seven of the top ten universities in the world. Green Card holders have access to these leading institutions and may qualify for grants, scholarships and government loans. Read our guide to learn more about how international students can benefit from the EB-5 Visa.

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Greater travel freedom

One of the benefits of having a Green Card is that you can travel freely in and out of the United States. However, some restrictions and requirements must be met to maintain permanent residency status.

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Path to U.S. citizenship

Getting a U.S. Green Card is often the first step towards citizenship. Green Card holders can apply for citizenship through naturalization as long as they meet specific residency requirements. This allows them to enjoy all the rights and privileges that citizenship offers.

Employment-based Green Cards

Employment-based visas offer one of the most straightforward and fastest ways to get a U.S. Green Card.

EB-1 and EB-2 visas

The EB-1 and EB-2 are employment-based first and second-preference visas, respectively.

EB-1 Visas are for those who excel in their chosen field. Meanwhile, the EB-2 Visa is for those with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities, specifically in areas such as science, art or business.

EB-3 Visa

The EB-3 Visa is an employment-based immigrant visa for foreign workers.

The visa targets three employment categories:

  • Skilled workers: Those whose jobs require at least two years of experience or training.
  • Professional workers: Those whose jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent foreign degree.
  • Unskilled or other workers: Those performing ‘unskilled labor’ jobs that require less than two years of training or experience.

To apply for the EB-3 Visa, applicants first need a job offer from a U.S. employer who acts as the sponsor.

To learn more about employment-based visas, read our guide on the different types of U.S. visas.

Investment-based visas

One of the fastest ways to get a U.S. Green Card is via the EB-5 Visa program.

While the EB-5 Visa is technically employment-based, it does not require a job offer. Instead, this type of visa is focused on making a qualifying investment to create jobs.

Because EB-5 investors do not require a job offer and can self-sponsor, the process of getting a U.S. Green Card is much quicker than other routes.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Investors must meet two main requirements to get a U.S. Green Card through the EB-5 Visa program:

  • A minimum investment of $1,050,000 or $800,000 if the project is in a targeted employment area (TEA).
  • Create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

Securing a U.S. Green Card with Holborn

Of the employment-based visa options, the EB-5 program is typically the fastest way to get a U.S. Green Card because it does not require a job offer.

However, other schemes, such as the EB-3, may be more suitable for some people, depending on their situation and goals. Download our EB-3 and EB-5 factsheets to learn more about each program in more detail. Alternatively, speak to one of our specialists.

Holborn Pass is an international leader in investor visas. Our expert team provides a bespoke, end-to-end service and support throughout the application process.

We are part of the wider Holborn Assets Group, a leading, award-winning financial advisory company with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM).

We have successfully assisted hundreds of individuals and families in securing golden visas. To find out how we can help you, book a consultation with one of our advisers

Frequently asked questions

The U.S. Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, provides lawful permanent resident status. Green Card holders can live and work in the United States permanently.

Employment-based (EB) visas are one of the fastest and most efficient ways to get a U.S. Green Card. The EB-5 Visa is often the quickest route. EB-5 investors can self-sponsor, meaning they do not require a Labor Certification or proof of employment.

The processing time for a Green Card can vary, ranging from several months to several years. Your situation and the type of visa are two factors that can dictate how long it takes to secure a Green Card. To better understand processing times, speak to one of our experts.

Annual limits exist on the number of green cards issued in specific categories. Each year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are available. This includes roughly 40,000 EB-3 Visas and 10,000 EB-5 Visas.

U.S. law requires that a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) permanently live in the United States. To maintain permanent resident status, you should spend no longer than 12 months outside of the U.S. This can be extended to two years if you obtain a reentry permit before leaving the country.

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