September 27, 2023
The American Dream: Learn the Myths and Facts About the Green Card Process

The American Dream: Learn the Myths and Facts About the Green Card Process

In search of better job opportunities, investments, and quality of life, many Brazilians decide to immigrate to the United States and begin the process of obtaining a green card, the gateway to the “American Dream.”

The official name of the document is US Permanent Resident Card. Permanent in the United States) and is issued to immigrants who want to work and live in the country, while a work or residence visa allows them to stay in the United States for a limited period only.

Check out seven myths and facts about the process of getting a green card:

1 – Green card can be obtained through a close relative who holds the document


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services allows green cards to be obtained by spouses and unmarried children.

Documentation can also be obtained from a family member who is a US citizen. In this case, parents and older siblings may request the document if the person is 21 years of age (age of majority in the US) or older.

2 – You must have a degree to get a green card


Graduation opens the door to a path widely used by Brazilians to obtain documentation, but not the only one. EB – Employment Based – (Employment Support in Portuguese), visas that support aspects such as business and investments.

Visa is well known in Brazil EB-2 NIW and targeting immigrants and those with higher levels of experience and education, working in occupations in short supply in the United States.

Another type EB-3, which makes documentation possible for migrants who have or wish to undertake employment in the country. In this case, there is no need to have a professional qualification.

Marcelo Condim, a lawyer specializing in immigration to the United States and founder of the office of Condim Law Corp., explains, “One of the main mistakes occurs when a person goes to the country without being financially prepared and starts working without authorization. Because in the future, when she files for a green card, she can be caught by immigration. or commit the crime of fraud by lying.”

Condim points out that it’s best to move to the US after receiving a job offer, or to look for an opportunity when you arrive in the country on a student or tourist visa.

According to the US Department of Immigration, 2019 was the year 19,825,000 Brazilians were granted green cards. According to the agency, more than 132,000 Brazilians have gained legal residency in the United States in the past decade. Statistics show that there are currently about 1.4 million Brazilians living in the United States.

3 – Some industries facilitate access to documentation


Industries that are considered “nationally important” and are in short supply in the U.S. open doors to foreigners who want to work in the country.

According to Kondim, professionals with specialized technical knowledge and experience such as engineers, IT specialists, doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, airline pilots and architects may be ideal candidates for EB-2 NIW visas.

4 – The process of getting a green card is expensive


The expert explains, “Through the family, by hiring a lawyer, immigrants can spend about 5 thousand dollars for each request (about R$ 25 thousand, in direct transfer). In the professional field, people spend about 16 thousand dollars and another 2 thousand dollars for each additional process (about R $ 90 thousand, in direct exchange)”, he adds.

It is also possible to get a green card through investments in the US. In this case, it is necessary to invest at least 500 thousand dollars (R$ 2.5 million) if the business is created in the “Target Employment Area” (TEA), regions of the country with high unemployment rate and poor investments. In more developed regions, the minimum investment must be at least US$900,000 (R$4.6 million).

5 – The process is time consuming


According to the expert, the time to get a green card varies depending on the type used, for example, a resident applying for children over 21 years of age has to wait in line for about 6 years. For sibling applicants, it may take up to 15 years to issue the document.

In the case of investing in the US, the immigrant receives a two-year temporary green card after a waiting period of about five years.

For immigrants with a good professional history, the EB-NIW visa can take up to 3 years. EB-3 visas are issued in about 1.5 years for those seeking employment in the United States.

In the case of investing in the US, the immigrant receives a two-year temporary green card after a waiting period of about five years.

6 – After receiving a green card, leaving the United States is prohibited


After receiving the document, the immigrant may not travel outside the United States for more than one year. In this case, you will need to ask for special permission to return home. In addition, it is necessary to renew the green card every ten years.

7 – Having a green card is a US citizen


US citizenship allows a person to live in the country and have full rights to exercise civic activities such as holding public office and voting. According to Marcelo Condim, the only right not granted to an American citizen who was not born in the country was the possibility of running for the presidency of the United States.

After five years with a green card, the immigrant can open the process to become a U.S. citizen, and must prove that they have stayed in the U.S. for more than half of that time.