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Green Card Categories

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What Are Green Card Categories?

Are you an immigrant who wants to permanently live and work in the U.S.? If so, you may need a green card. It grants foreign nationals lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

However, getting a green card is challenging. There are different types of green cards. They are based on various eligibility criteria and application processes. Some of the most common categories are:

  • Family-based green cards
  • Employment-based green cards
  • Diversity immigrant visa program
  • Humanitarian green cards
  • Special immigrants

Choosing the right green card category maximizes your chances of success. Each category has its requirements, steps, and challenges. You need to know which category suits your situation best and how to apply for it correctly.

Feeling confused? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, we assist immigrants with various issues, including work permit immigration. Contact us today to talk to an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles.

Understanding Green Card Categories

Green card categories are codes that indicate the basis of your eligibility for a green card. They are determined by U.S. immigration law and policy. This body sets the rules and limits for who can apply for a green card and how.

Each green card category has a specific code that consists of a letter and a number, such as F1, EB-2, or DV. The letter represents the type of green card. For instance, family-based uses (F), employment-based uses (E), and diversity lottery uses (D). The number represents the preference level or subcategory within each type; The first preference (1), second preference (2), or third preference (3).

You need to know your green card category code because it affects your application process, priority date, and visa availability. If you do not know your category code, contact an immigration attorney as soon as you can.

What Are the Main Types of Green Card Categories?

There are several important types of green card categories. The main categories are as follows:


This is for those with close family relationships with a U.S. Citizen or green card holder. There are two subcategories within this:

  • Immediate Relatives (IR): This covers family members such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens or green card holders.
  • Family Preference (F): This category includes unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, spouses and children of permanent residents, and siblings of US citizens.


This category is for people who have a job offer or an exceptional skill or talent that benefits:

  • U.S. economy
  • Culture
  • National interest

It consists of five subcategories. They include:

  • Priority workers (EB-1)
  • Professionals with advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability (EB-2)
  • Professionals, skilled and unskilled workers (EB-3)
  • Special immigrants and religious workers (EB-4)
  • Investors (EB-5)

Diversity Lottery

This category is for people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. The U.S. government awards applicants a green card through the green card lottery program. They need to meet particular education or work requirements to qualify.


This category includes individuals in need of shelter or aid from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues, and other humanitarian circumstances.

  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Victims of human trafficking
  • Victims of crime
  • Abused spouses or children of U.S. citizens

Special Immigrant

This category is for those with a special circumstance that qualifies them for a green card. Examples in this category include:

  • Former U.S. government employees
  • International Broadcasters
  • Iraqi or Afghan translators
  • Religious workers
  • Juvenile court dependents

What Are EB Categories for Green Cards?

EB categories are employment-based green card categories. These are for foreign nationals that have a job offer or an exceptional skill or talent that benefits the U.S. There are five EB categories:


This is for priority workers who have extraordinary ability or outstanding achievement. It also includes those with international recognition in their field of expertise. It includes scientists, artists, athletes, professors, researchers, executives, and managers.


This category is for professionals with advanced degrees. Also, persons of exceptional ability who have:

  • A high level of education
  • Skill or experience in their field of work

It includes engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and others.


This is for professionals, skilled and unskilled workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree. They may also have two years of work experience or not. These include nurses, technicians, cooks, and laborers.


This category is for special immigrants and religious workers. They have a special role that qualifies them for a green card. It includes ministers, missionaries, broadcasters, translators, and employees of international organizations.


This is for investors who invest in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least ten full-time jobs in the U.S. The category includes entrepreneurs, business owners, and others.

How Can the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney Assist You With Green Card Categories?

Navigating the complexities of green card applications requires precision and a deep understanding of immigration law. Mistakes could lead to denials or even deportation, making professional legal guidance essential.

At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, we offer tailored assistance in the following areas:

  • Assessment of Eligibility: Our experienced team evaluates your eligibility for specific green card categories, ensuring you have a great chance of success.
  • Document Preparation: We meticulously prepare your documents for consular processing, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
  • Guidance in Interviews and Hearings: Our immigration attorneys stand by your side, representing you during interviews and hearings to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Appeals and Waivers: If faced with denials or complications, we handle appeals and waivers, leveraging our experience to navigate challenges.

Looking for a green card lawyer in Los Angeles to guide you through the application process? Contact the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney for a free consultation. Our team has years of experience in simplifying the intricate realm of immigration, and we’re committed to helping you achieve your immigration goals.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.