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Here are the various different ways to obtain a US Green Card (Permanent Residency)

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Green Card

As you may already know, each year, millions of people seek for ways to migrate to the United States. There are however limited ways of doing so, and even more limited slots available for those intending to move to the country as permanent residents.

In the fiscal year 2017 for example, 1,127,167 persons obtained permanent resident status, also known as green cards, in the US. In the same fiscal year, 757,000 permanent residents became naturalized US citizens.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers several ways of obtaining a green card. These include  through your family, a job offer or employment, asylum among others.

Immediate Relative of a US citizen:

An immediate relative of a US citizen is defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as either a spouse of a US citizen, an unmarried child under the age of 21 of a US citizen, or a parent of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old.

There is no limit to the number of green cards that can be issued by the USCIS each year to immediate relatives.

Other Relative of a US Citizen or a Relative of a Lawful Permanent Resident:

This includes unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a US citizen, married son or daughter of a US citizen, brother or sister  (21 years or older) of a US citizen, spouse of a lawful permanent resident, unmarried child under the age of 21 of a lawful permanent resident, or unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a lawful permanent resident.

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A maximum of 480,000 green card each year are granted under this category on a first come-first-served basis. As such, most foreigners applying under this category spend many years (as many as over 20 years in some cases) in the waiting list.

Employment:

140,000 green cards are issued each year to foreigners possessing unique talents or job skills that have shortage in the US. This category includes people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, professors, and researchers. The cater also include physicians willing to work in designated underserved areas within the US for a set period of time, as well as those investing at least $1 million in a new business in the US that will create at least 10 full-time jobs.

Green Card Lottery:

50,000 green cards are made available each year through a lottery system to nationals or countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Applications are submitted online for a period of one month between October and November each year.

Green Card as a Special Immigrant:

This category includes religious workers coming to the US to work for a nonprofit religious organization, a child that has been abused, abandon, or neglected by a parent and have a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) states, an international broadcaster coming to to work in the US as amber of the media, as well as retired officers or employees of certain international organizations or NATO.

READ ALSO:   5,263 Kenyans granted Green Cards

Refugee and Political Asylum:

Refugees and those living in the US on asylum can apply for a green card one year after being granted refugee/asylee status. This includes people who fled their home countries for fear of, or experienced persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or for membership in a particular social group.

Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims:

Immigrants who have been victims of human trafficking and currently have a T non-immigrant visa , or who have been victims of a crime and have a U non-immigrant visa are available for apply for a green card.

Green Card for Victims of Abuse:

Abused spouses or US citizens or lawful permanent residents, abused children of a US citizen or lawful permanent residents, and abused parents of US citizens may all be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

Person born in the United States to a foreign diplomat:

If you were born in the United States to a foreign diplomatic officer who was stationed in the US when you were born, then you may be eligible to apply for a green card.

Section 13 (Diplomat):

If you were stationed in the US as a foreign diplomat or high ranking official and are unable to return home then you may be eligible to apply for a green card.

READ ALSO:   US announces new approach to reduce Green Card, Citizenship applications backlog

Under most of the above categories, permanent residents become eligible to apply for naturalization in five years provided they live permanently in the US for five years and have good moral character. Those married to US citizens become eligible to apply for citizenship three years after becoming permanent residents.

SOURCE-Mwakilishi.com

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Lorna

    September 5, 2019 at 8:19 am

    Hi if you are applying for the green card, is there charges or it’s free? If it’s paid, then how much? And can somebody who is HIV positive apply? Thank you and God bless.

  2. Addis beharu

    September 6, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    My dream is to go America since I thought as in the elemetary class as I was a student.still now having a great hope!!
    Thank you!!

  3. Shila

    September 20, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Me l try last year green card l want to try again

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Diaspora

Kenyan passport still highly ranked amid Covid-19 pandemic

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The Kenyan passport has defied the Covid-19 pandemic to retain position 72 among the most powerful passports in the world, this according to a newly released Henley Passport Index.

The index, periodically measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports, based on the number of destinations their holders can access visa-free or visa-on-arrival.

VISA-FREE ACCESS

According to the latest index, the Japanese passport opens more doors than any other passport in the world.

The Japanese passport, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the world, topped the rankings, followed by Singapore (190 destinations) while the South Korean passport tied with the German passport in third place with a score of 189.

The Kenyan passport, whose holder can access 71 destinations around the world without a visa or visa-on-arrival, is ranked at seventh in the continent, behind Seychelles (151 destinations), Mauritius (145), South Africa (101), Botswana (82), Namibia (75), Lesotho (74), and Swaziland (72).

The Kenyan passport also commands a relatively high score in comparison to those from other East African countries.

Amanda Smit, the Managing Partner and Head of South, East, and Central Africa at Henley, hailed the Kenyan passport’s resilience in retaining its position.

TEMPORARY BANS

“The much-considered destinations are the ones which have effectively handled the coronavirus outbreak, and especially those which have declared themselves virus-free. International airline travel is still on halt, but it is to be expected that more people will look at various destinations to settle as soon as airspace is open,” she said.

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Research using exclusive historical data from the index has revealed that there is a strongly positive connection between visa freedom and a variety of indicators of economic freedom, government integrity, and personal or political freedom.

The Henley Passport Index is based on data provided by the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations. It is updated in real time throughout the year, as and when visa policy changes come into effect.

Henley & Partners said the recent ranking did not take temporary bans into account.

The best passports to hold in 2020:

1. Japan (191 destinations)

2. Singapore (190)

3. South Korea, Germany (189)

4. Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)

5. Denmark, Austria (187)

6. Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)

7. Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium (185)

8. Greece, New Zealand, Malta, Czech Republic (184)

9. Canada, Australia (183)

10. Hungary (181)

The worst passports to hold:

103. North Korea (39 destinations)

104. Libya, Nepal, Palestinian Territory (38)

105. Somalia, Yemen (33)

106. Pakistan (32)

107. Syria (29)

108. Iraq (28)

109. Afghanistan (26)

By Nairobi News

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Diaspora

No Quarantine for Passengers Flying to Kenya, Government says

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Transport CS James Macharia, on Wednesday, July 8, announced that passengers arriving in Kenya from other countries would not be forced to quarantine if they did not exhibit flu symptoms.

“All passengers shall be exempt from quarantine on arrival at their destinations if their body temperature is not above 37.5 degrees celsius and they do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms.

“This is important because we do not expect a tourist to come from wherever they land here and then they are quarantined for 14 days,” the CS explained.

Speaking during a press briefing at Transcom House in Nairobi, CS Macharia revealed that the new protocols were aimed at encouraging tourism, one of the hardest-hit industries following the pandemic.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking at KICC on March 17, 2016.
DAILY NATION

In addition, the CS explained that airline crew and passengers would be allowed to the airports and that all crew would be exempted from quarantine after a flight, if their body temperatures were below 37 degrees, and if there was no suspected Covid-19 case in the flight.

However, the crew is expected to be quarantined in case of a suspected case from the flight.

Passengers flying into the country will be allowed to be dropped and picked at the various airports past curfew hours, provided that they are able to present a boarding pass.

READ ALSO:   5,263 Kenyans granted Green Cards

With the resumption of air transport slated for July 15, 2020, as per President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive, CS Macharia revealed that only 5 airlines had so far confirmed that they would be operational.

The five were identified as Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Aim Air, Boskovic Air, and Scenic Safaris.

In case of a suspected case of COVID-19 on a flight, CS Macharia revealed that the passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms would be tested. If their results turned out to be negative, they would be then allowed to leave the airport, however, the reverse would result in the passengers being quarantined in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.”

Watch CS Macharia’s briefing below:

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Diaspora

Kenyan students in the US to lose visas if their classes move online

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Kenyan students in the United States may soon be forced to return home if their colleges or universities opt for online learning only, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

In a statement on Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas who attend universities that operate entirely online amid the Covid-19 pandemic may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.

FULL ONLINE COURSES

“Students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” said ICE.

The agency added that F-1 students who attend schools that provide a mixture of online and in-person classes will be permitted to take some online courses.

According to ICE, the schools must certify to the Student Exchange Visitor Program “that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree.”

F-1 students whose universities will maintain full in-person classes will remain bound by federal laws that allow a maximum of one class or three credit hours online.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES

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“Students who remain in the United States while taking only online courses could face immigration consequences, including the initiation of removal proceedings,” ICE said.

Last year, the number of Kenyans enrolled in US higher-education institutions rose by nearly four per cent, reaching a total of 3,451 students, according to a 2019 study published by a State Department Bureau and Institute of International Education, a New York-based NGO.

Africans overall account for 40,000 of the 1,095,000 international students in the US.

The updated guidance comes as schools in the US consider reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, while imposing restrictions on students’ return that will force some students to stay off-campus and learn remotely for entire semesters at a time.

The ICE announcement comes at a time when the US leads the world in coronavirus caseload. More than 2.9 million Americans have contracted Covid-19 with 130,000 deaths reported.

By Nairobi News

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