A. Labor Certification
The most common way to obtain a work-related green card requires a company sponsor to go through the Labor Certification process, which is extremely complex and involves proving there is a business necessity for the alien worker's skills. Further, it must be shown that no U.S. citizen or permanent resident has been found who possesses those skills. An employer may not apply for a visa on behalf of a potential employee until Labor Certification has been successfully completed.
B. Priority Workers
Aliens who can document extraordinary ability in a specific field may qualify for "priority worker" status. If the alien presents sufficient evidence, he or she can completely avoid the Labor Certification process. Other special immigrant visas include those for "outstanding researchers," certain multinational executives and managers and individuals whose work is in the national interest of the United States.
C. Family - Sponsored Immigration
Aliens who have qualifying family relationships may apply for permanent residence. There are two basic categories: (1) Immediate Relatives; and (2) Preference Immigrants.
1. Immediate relatives
Immediate relatives include spouses of U.S. citizens, minor children (under 21) of U.S. citizens, parents of U.S. citizens, provided that the citizen petitioner is at least 21 years old, and certain spouses of deceased U.S. citizens.
2. Preference Immigrants
(1) First Preference: