Santa Clarita is a great place to live, so it’s not surprising to see that plenty of people want to move here from overseas and enjoy life in sunny California.
Of course if you want to become a permanent resident of the US and enjoy life to the fullest, you’ll need a green card. Luckily there are a few ways to go about acquiring one, so let’s cover the main options available to you as an aspiring immigrant.
Investing $800,000 or more for an EB-5 visa
This is obviously only applicable if you are a high net worth individual and an entrepreneur as well, but it’s worth mentioning because of how popular it is nationwide.
The EB-5 visa program allows investors to achieve eligibility for permanent residence so long as they plow their cash into enterprises that benefit the US economy.
The minimum EB-5 capital investment amount currently sits at $800,000 if the enterprise is within a designated area where employment levels are low. For areas where the economy is already strong, this rises to $1.05 million.
A typical EB-5 visa will take around four years to get approved, although investing in socially responsible schemes can shorten this lead time.
Getting a green card through your employer
If you have been offered a job based in the US, then you’ll be eligible to apply for an EB-3 visa. This is usually reserved for skilled workers with college-level education, although it is also available to those with lower levels of training; a minimum of two years is typically expected in this context.
Unskilled workers can even be considered for EB-3 visas, but this is fairly uncommon, because a requirement of this type of green card being issued is that there is no worker in the domestic workforce who’s available for the role in question.
It can take anywhere from 12 months to 3 years for an EB-3 visa to receive approval. Employers can pay extra fees to expedite this.
There is also the EB-2 visa, which is open to those with very sought-after skills and training, otherwise defined as ‘exceptional ability’ in a given field, as well as EB-1 visas for those of ‘extraordinary ability’.
Earning a green card through family connections
Being an immediate family member of a US citizen is another route to a green card, and it’s important to know what qualifies as ‘immediate’ in this context.
If you’re married to a US citizen, or are the unmarried child aged 21 or under, then your eligibility is assured. This also applies to parents of US citizens who may have been born overseas themselves, but were on US soil when their child was born.
Those who are not immediate relatives of US citizens could still get a green card through their family, if they are chosen as a ‘preference relative’. This seemingly tricky term is actually straightforward, and basically covers the kids of US citizens regardless of age, as well as siblings.
There are four tiers of preference for this type of applicant, which basically mean that the lower down the list you are, the less likely that your application will be approved in a given year, because of course there is a cap on this, as with the other visas mentioned above.
Getting a green card and moving to Santa Clarita’s latest housing developments could transform your life, and as you can see there are a few routes to take, each of which is very dependent on your personal circumstances.
It’s best to get expert advice and get the ball rolling on your visa application now, because of how long it can take to be approved.