Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are people who can legally live and work in the United States without actually being U.S. citizens. Those with LPR status are also known as green card holders and they can work anywhere in the United States, can purchase property, access education, and join the U.S. military. So how can you get LPR status if you are a foreign national?

Ways to Get LPR Status

If you want to live and work in the United States, you need to have a green card. There are a number of ways to get one. The first is to marry someone else with LPR status or a United States citizen. As you might imagine, there will be criteria that must be met. You cannot marry someone in order to get a green card, so you need to be able to prove that the marriage is genuine. The expert immigration attorneys in Lehi at Graham Adair say that in order to get your I-130 approved, you must be able to prove that the marriage is real. This means that you need to provide evidence that you are living together and that your lives are interconnected.

You can submit proof that you are living together, such as your rental lease in both names and mail in each of your names at the same address. A sign of commitment includes joint bank statements, joint utility bills, and joint submission of taxes. You might also have insurance documents that will show each other as beneficiaries or that one or other partner is noted on an employment health insurance plan.

Close family members of United States citizens or those with LPR status can also apply for a green card. So this means the spouse, parent, or child. Certain criteria must be met. There is also the possibility of green card approval for extended family members, such as siblings.

Foreign nationals can also apply for a green card by investing a certain amount of money in the United States. The creation of a business that will employ at least ten U.S. citizens, along with an investment of $500,000 is usually enough to get green card approval, although the investment amount is likely to increase in the near future.

Other options open to foreign nationals who want to get LPR status include studying and having sponsored employment. Those who study in the United States will be given a one-year post-grad work permit if they are studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. It is possible to get an employer to apply for a work visa afterwards. It can take a long time to get a green card this way, but it is still an option for foreign nationals wishing to work and live in the United States.

It is also possible for some people to get a green card if they have specialist skills that are in demand in the U.S. You can either get a United States employer to sponsor you or you can apply for a work visa yourself (if you are deemed to be a person of extraordinary ability).


Getting LPR status to live and work in the United States can be a difficult and lengthy process, but it is not impossible. There are a number of ways that a foreign national can get a green card. Marrying a U.S. citizen or having immediate family members who are U.S. citizens or already have LPR status is the easiest route, but there are other options including work or study visas, that can eventually lead to green card approval.