What's the Green Card Process Like? The Cato Institute Wants You to Play a Game and Find Out

Countless movies around the world hint at the realities behind getting a green card in the United States. But unless you’re in the system, filling out forms and waiting patiently for your particular dates to show up on the Visa Bulletin, you don’t understand the nuances and stresses involved. One company, the Cato Institute, wants to change this and ensure the general public learns about the difficulties that arise when you’re pursuing permanent residence through a green card as a foreign worker. Who is the Cato Institute, and what does their game include? We have that information here.

Who is the Cato Institute, Anyway?

When you’re dealing with immigration, there are many branches you’ll get to know well, from the Department of Labor to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. So where does this other name come into the picture, and is it worth learning about?

We think so. The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization that was initially founded on libertarian principles. The vision of the institute is to “create free, open, and civil societies” using those principles. In essence, it acts as a think tank to develop and promote libertarian ideas, including those focused on promoting better immigration policies.

You may have never heard of this institute, but it’s been a loud and effective part of Washington, DC, since 1977. Advocates of individual freedom and liberty use this institute to promote reform. One of the latest innovations in this goal is the Green Card Game, and the Cato Institute has made this free and accessible to all.

The Green Card Game

The Green Card Game, recently released by the Cato Institute, is an impactful way for Americans to get to see the realities behind the process of getting a green card. For foreign individuals to obtain permanent residence, they must go through many hurdles, but unless you’ve gone through the system, it’s easy to discount these challenges. Yet, navigating the complicated immigration system in America can be a mess of red tape.

The game was developed to help Americans develop empathy and understanding for those dealing with the restrictive immigration legalities. Using the most up-to-date rules and regulations and the practices of the immigration system, the game gives every “player” a chance to obtain their green card.

But what you quickly realize when you’re “playing” the game is that these immigration processes make it more likely that you’ll fail than succeed. It takes a lot of luck, skill, timing, and money to reach the objective. And with realities like a person’s birth country counting against them, there’s plenty of subjectivity involved. Adjudicators are able to use their personal opinions disguised as discretion to decide the end result of a case.

The whole game uses sources that ensure the laws and regulations are followed precisely. The developers even state that as difficult as it is to win the game, it’s easier than obtaining a successful green card in reality. As you play, you’ll learn which countries have better odds of success than others, which jobs will allow you the greatest chance of getting a green card, and which ones to avoid entirely.

How to Play the Game

As a player in The Green Card Game, you're outside the US and have no connections in America. So, you start by letting the game know your background, including your given country, job, education, religion, money, and other factors. You can also choose to play as yourself to make it more personalized, using your statistics and demographics.

Factors that determine eligibility and outcome include things like:

●     Vaccination status (requesting a waiver adds more time to your wait and costs more to complete forms)

●     Job status (Are you already sponsored or waiting for someone to sponsor you?)

●     Family (Are you bringing your spouse and children?)

●     Education (Do you have an advanced degree? Any skills?)

●     Legal assistance (Do you have an attorney representing you?)

Things you'd assume would propel you forward on your journey sometimes differ from what they seem. You may get moved up in line or pushed backward for months or years as you play the game. And that's how the green card "game" is in real life, too.

To play, head to https://www.thegreencardgame.com/factor/welcome.

What’s Next?

What did you learn from your time exploring the Cato Institute’s Green Card Game? One thing many people realize quickly is that they need the help of a skilled immigration attorney, like those of us at Visa2US, to navigate this complex system. Don’t take chances like you do in the game. This is your reality you’re “playing” with, and our professionals at Visa2US are here to increase your chances of successfully working with the United States’ immigration system.

Skip the research part for your immigration application.

Simply answer questions we prepared for you and the completed forms are ready!

H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.