A refugee is someone persecuted in his or her home country due to race, religion, war, nationality, or political affiliation. Obtaining refugee status in the United States is a form of protection for refugees who are not allowed or unwilling to return to their home country because of fear or social harm. In order to qualify for the refugee status, the applicant must be from outside the U.S.
For the year of 2013, USCIS has approved the maximum of 10,000 U visa petitions. U visas are for victims of crime who has suffered abuse emotionally and mentally. Victims agree to help law enforcements prosecute such crimes. The program for U visas started in 2008 and has helped more than 76,000 victims and their families. USCIS will be accepting U visa applications again on October 1, 2013.
There are multiple ways to get a green card as a relative of a U.S. citizen. As the spouse, unmarried child, or parent of an adult citizen (over 21 years old) you qualify as an immediate relative. Green cards for immediate relatives are unlimited, so there is no waiting for a visa as an immediate family member. Receiving a green card will allow you to live and work in the U.S. as a permanent resident.