The Lawful Permanent Resident Card, also known simply as a green card, is an official document that identifies you as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Holding a green card gives you the right to live and work in the country without restrictions.
The process of getting a green card is a long and complicated area of immigration law. Once you familiarize yourself with a couple of basic concepts about getting a green card, you will be able to begin the process with greater confidence.
Are you eligible for a green card?
You can apply for a green card through a number of different immigrant categories based on your circumstances. You are eligible for a green card if you meet the requirements to apply through work or familial connections. You can also apply if you are a religious worker or have another special immigration status.
How do you apply for a green card?
The green card application process begins by filing a petition form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. After providing biometric data and attending an interview, you must wait for USCIS to make a final decision regarding your petition. The decision-making process can take several months or several years depending on your background.
Many immigrants begin their time in the United States on a temporary visa. While the process of receiving a green card can be strenuous, the freedoms it provides can improve your quality of life compared to the restrictive nature of most immigrant visas.