A green card in the USA is an identification document that provides lawful permanent resident status to individuals who are not U.S. citizens. It is also known as a permanent resident card, and it serves as evidence that the holder is authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.
Green card holders have many of the same rights as U.S. citizens, including the ability to work, study, and travel freely within the United States. They also have some of the same responsibilities, such as paying taxes and following all federal and state laws.
Green cards are issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and can be obtained through a variety of means, including employment, family sponsorship, refugee or asylum status, and the diversity visa lottery. Once obtained, a green card is typically valid for 10 years and can be renewed as long as the holder continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
Green card holders may also be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, typically five years, although the requirements for citizenship are more stringent than those for obtaining a green card.
To apply for a green card in the USA, also known as permanent residency, there are several steps that you will need to follow:
Applying For A Green Card to Work In The USA
Determine your eligibility: There are several ways to qualify for a green card, including through employment, family sponsorship, refugee or asylum status, and the diversity visa lottery. Determine which category you fit into and make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
File a petition: If you are applying for a family-based green card, your US citizen or permanent resident family member will need to file a petition on your behalf. If you are applying for an employment-based green card, your employer will need to file a petition.
Wait for approval: Once your petition is approved, you will receive a priority date, which is the date your petition was filed. Depending on your category, you may need to wait for a visa to become available before you can proceed with the application process.
File Form I-485: This is the application for adjustment of status. If you are already in the US on a nonimmigrant visa, such as a student or work visa, you can file this form to adjust your status to permanent residency. If you are outside the US, you will need to apply for an immigrant visa.
Attend biometrics appointment: You will need to attend an appointment to have your fingerprints and photo taken.
Attend an interview: You will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer, who will review your application and ask you questions about your eligibility for permanent residency.
Receive a decision: After the interview, you will receive a decision on your application. If approved, you will receive your green card and become a permanent resident of the United States.
The green card application process can be complex and time-consuming, so it may be helpful to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney or a qualified immigration service provider.