If your employer sponsors you, it will take 3 steps and up to 2 years to finally get that Green Card. The first step is Labour Certification which will take around 3 months, then Immigrant Petition, which takes about 3 months and Adjustment of Status which takes up to one year. You can begin working after the first two steps are complete.
The next way to obtain a Green Card is by Diversity Immigrant Lottery Green Card (DV for short). Every year, the U.S. receives about 8 million of these applications. 50,000 people are chosen randomly by a computer generated program. If your application is chosen, you have one month to actually send in the Green Card Application. If you send in your application too soon or too late, then you are automatically disqualified. In addition, if you don’t follow the instructions to the letter when entering this lottery, you are automatically disqualified.
Lastly, you can marry a U.S. citizen and have them sponsor your application for a Green Card. Any member of your family that is a U.S. citizen can sponsor you, but your spouse will have many fewer hoops to jump through than any other member of the family. The INS will investigate to make sure that you don’t have a sham marriage just to get a Green Card. If they suspect, they will deny your application and leave you stuck in an unwanted marriage.