US Green Card for Canadians

Canadians have the advantage of having a relatively easy time entering the US. I say “relatively” because of course there are always cases where US Customs and Border Protection deny Canadians entry to the US for many reasons including criminality, lack of ties etc. But generally speaking if you, as a Canadian, wish to visit the US  you do not need a visa to do so. Just show your passport and off you go.

However, when it comes to moving to the US permanently well that is a different story. Canadians, like other foreign nationals, must go though the extensive government red tape to be able to obtain a US Green Card (US Permanent Residence Status). There are different ways for Canadians to obtain a US Green Card and I will list them for you here

How to Get a US Green Card for Canadians

Green Card though Family Petitions

One of the most popular methods is though a Family Petition: A spouse, child, sibling for example who is a US Citizen and in some cases a US Permanent Resident, can sponsor you for a Green Card. There are many considerations to examine before you ask your US relative to sponsor you however. You would have to look at their own status in the US and their income to name just a few factors. On the applicant’s side (called the Beneficiary), factors such as domicile, past immigration history and criminality are important. But Family Petitions, if you have a qualifying relative, is a main way of getting a US Green Card. Wait times however can be extensive.

Green Card though Employment

The other method for getting a US Green Card is though employment. If you are lucky enough to have a US company willing to sponsor you for a Green Card though the I-140 process, then you may be able to get US Permanent Residence that way. In many cases, you will start by applying for a tempoary work visa like an H-1B Visa and then “adjust your status” later on to the Green Card process. You will need your employers’ full cooperation during this process plus you yourself have to qualify.

Green Card though Investment E-B5 Visa

The other means that Canadians can get US Green Cards is through investment under the EB-5 category. The EB-5 Visa is for people willing to invest usually $500,000 in the US to create jobs for Americans  This category is becoming very popular among Canadians and is a relatively quick way to get a Green Card. The Eb-5 investor should not be making a “passive investment” but should be involved in the business invested. Further, the investment can be made though a designated Regional Center or privately.

Green Card though Lottery

Canadians are not currently eligible for the Green Card Lottery so no point in discussing this one.

Are you Canadian and looking to get a US Green Card?

As you can see there are options for you to consider. It is important to have your case assessed before you send in applications that could cost you thousands of dollars resulting in refusals or delays. Do your homework first!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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