A green card, or legal permanent residency, can be obtained in mainly two ways: through family or employment.
In order to get a green card through family, you must have an eligible sponsoring relative, who must either be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder.
A U.S. citizen can sponsor their spouse, parent, child, or siblings for a green card, whereas a green card holder can only sponsor their spouse or unmarried child. For immigration purposes, an immediate relative is a spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen, and are not subject to any yearly quotas, or “preference category.”
In order to get a green card through employment, the prospective immigrant must qualify under one of the “EB”, or employment-based, categories, which include persons of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, executives and managers of multinational employers, religious workers, certain skilled workers who are PERM approved, and certain investors.