Moving to Hawaii is a dream for many people looking to enjoy island living surrounded by natural beauty. If you want to make Hawaii your permanent home, you’ll need to obtain permanent residency status.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: To get permanent residency in Hawaii, you’ll need to live in the state for at least a year and prove that you intend to remain in Hawaii indefinitely. You can apply for permanent residency by filing Form I-551 through USCIS after meeting eligibility requirements.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting permanent residency in Hawaii, including different pathways to residency, eligibility requirements, and step-by-step instructions for applying.

Determining Your Pathway to Permanent Residency

Are you dreaming of making Hawaii your permanent home? Obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii can be a complex process, but with the right information and guidance, you can make it a reality. In this article, we will explore the different pathways to permanent residency in Hawaii and help you determine the best option for you.

Green Card Through Family

If you have close family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, you may be eligible to apply for a green card through family sponsorship. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21, have the highest priority for green card approvals. Other family members, such as siblings and married children, may also be eligible, but the process may take longer.

If you have a family member who is willing to sponsor you, they will need to file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on your behalf. Once the petition is approved, you can apply for an immigrant visa or adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident.

Green Card Through Employment

Another pathway to permanent residency in Hawaii is through employment sponsorship. If you have a job offer from a U.S. employer, they may be able to sponsor you for a green card. The employer will need to go through a labor certification process to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the job. Once the labor certification is approved, you can proceed with the green card application.

There are different employment-based preference categories, each with its own set of requirements and quotas. The EB-1 category is for individuals with extraordinary ability, EB-2 is for professionals with advanced degrees, and EB-3 is for skilled workers and professionals. The process can be lengthy and complex, so it’s important to consult with an immigration attorney to navigate the requirements and increase your chances of success.

Green Card Through Investment

If you have substantial funds to invest in a U.S. business, the EB-5 program may be a viable option for obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii. The EB-5 program requires a minimum investment of $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. If the investment is made in a targeted employment area, which includes certain rural areas or areas with high unemployment rates, the minimum investment requirement is reduced to $900,000.

Once the investment is made and the necessary job creation requirements are met, you can apply for a conditional green card. After two years, you can apply to have the conditions removed and obtain a permanent green card.

For more information on the specific requirements and processes for each pathway, it’s recommended to visit the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( They provide detailed information and forms that you will need throughout the application process.

Remember, obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii is a significant milestone, and it’s crucial to approach the process with patience, attention to detail, and the right professional support. Good luck on your journey to making the beautiful islands of Hawaii your permanent home!

Meeting the Eligibility Requirements

Duration of Residence

To obtain permanent residency in Hawaii, you must meet certain requirements regarding your duration of residence. Generally, you will need to have lived in Hawaii for a specific period of time before you can apply for permanent residency. The exact duration may vary depending on your immigration status and the specific program you are applying for. It is important to consult the official website of the Hawaii Department of Immigration for the most up-to-date information on residency requirements.

Proof of Financial Stability

Another important eligibility requirement for obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii is demonstrating your financial stability. This means showing that you have the financial means to support yourself and any dependents while residing in Hawaii. You may be required to provide bank statements, employment letters, or other financial documents to prove your financial stability. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or visit the official website of the Hawaii Department of Immigration for specific guidelines on the required proof of financial stability.

Clean Criminal Record

A clean criminal record is a crucial requirement for obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii. As part of the application process, you will likely be required to undergo a background check to ensure that you have not been involved in any criminal activities. Any convictions or serious offenses may negatively impact your chances of obtaining permanent residency. It is important to note that immigration laws are subject to change, so it is always best to consult with an immigration attorney or refer to the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for the most up-to-date information on criminal record requirements.

For more detailed information on the eligibility requirements for obtaining permanent residency in Hawaii, you can visit the official website of the Hawaii Department of Immigration at

Gathering the Required Documents

When applying for permanent residency in Hawaii, it is crucial to gather all the necessary documents to support your application. These documents will help provide evidence of your identity, age, Hawaii residence, and financial stability. Here are the key documents you will need to collect:

Proof of Identity and Age

One of the first documents you will need to provide is proof of your identity and age. This can be done by submitting a valid passport or a government-issued identification card. Additionally, you may be required to provide a birth certificate or other documents that confirm your date of birth. These documents are essential to establish your identity and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residency in Hawaii.

Evidence of Hawaii Residence

To prove that you are a resident of Hawaii, you will need to provide documentation that shows your residential address. This can include utility bills, rental agreements, or a lease agreement. If you own a property in Hawaii, you can submit property tax statements or mortgage documents as proof of residence. It is important to provide recent and up-to-date documents to demonstrate that you are currently residing in Hawaii.

Financial and Tax Documents

Another important aspect of the application process is providing evidence of your financial stability. This includes submitting financial documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, and tax returns. These documents will help demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself and your dependents while living in Hawaii. Additionally, you may be required to provide proof of employment or business ownership to further support your financial stability.

Gathering these required documents can be time-consuming, but it is essential to ensure a smooth and successful application process. Make sure to double-check the specific document requirements for permanent residency in Hawaii, as they may vary depending on your individual circumstances. For more information and detailed guidance, you can visit the official website of the Hawaii Department of Transportation at

Completing and Submitting the Application

When applying for permanent residency in Hawaii, it is essential to complete and submit the application accurately and in a timely manner. This article will guide you through the process, step by step, to help ensure a smooth application process.

Fill Out Form I-551

The first step in applying for permanent residency in Hawaii is to fill out Form I-551, also known as the Permanent Resident Card application. This form requires detailed information about your personal background, including your name, address, employment history, and criminal record, if any. Make sure to double-check all the information you provide to avoid any mistakes that could delay your application.

Include Supporting Documentation

Along with the completed Form I-551, you will need to include various supporting documents to strengthen your application. These documents may include your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), proof of financial stability, and any other relevant documents that demonstrate your eligibility for permanent residency. Be sure to make copies of all the documents you submit and keep them in a safe place for your records.

Pay Application Fees

Once you have completed the application and gathered all the necessary supporting documents, you will need to pay the required application fees. The current fee for the Permanent Resident Card application is $540, but it is always a good idea to check the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date fee information. You can pay the fees online or by mail, following the instructions provided by USCIS.

Attend Biometric Appointment

After submitting your application and paying the fees, you will receive a notice to attend a biometric appointment. During this appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken for background checks and identification purposes. It is crucial to attend this appointment as scheduled, as failure to do so may result in delays or even denial of your application.

Track Application Status

Once you have completed all the necessary steps and submitted your application, you can track its status online using the USCIS website. This will allow you to stay informed about the progress of your application and any additional documentation or steps required. It’s important to be patient during this process, as it can take several months for your application to be processed and approved.

Remember, the information provided here is intended as a general guide. For more detailed and up-to-date information, it is always best to consult the official USCIS website or seek the assistance of an immigration attorney.


Getting permanent residency in Hawaii takes time and effort, but enjoying island living makes it worthwhile. By determining your pathway, meeting all eligibility requirements, gathering documents, and properly submitting your application, your dreams of calling Hawaii home can become a reality. With this guide, you now have all the information you need to successfully obtain permanent resident status in Hawaii.

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