What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is what is now formerly called a Permanent Resident Card. This card serves as proof for the permanent resident that they are allowed to live and work in the US. A permanent resident, aged 18 years and older, is required to carry it at all times. Being a permanent resident is necessary if you want to eventually become a US Citizen, as Permanent Residency is a requirement for Application for Naturalization.
What is the process to get a Green Card?
- Determine your eligibility.
- Have an Immigrant petition filed on your behalf (usually done by qualified family member or company sponsor.)
- Receive a decision on the petition.
- Check Visa Availability.
- At the appropriate time (after a visa is available or the petition approved), complete and submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- Go to the scheduled Biometrics Appointment at your Application Support Center.
- Go to your scheduled interview.
- Get the final decision in the mail along with your permanent resident card (Green Card) if you are approved.
Am I eligible to get a Green Card?
An individual that wants to immigrate (become a permanent resident) to the US must be eligible through one of the immigrant categories established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- Immediate relative of a US Citizen
- Parent, Spouse, or unmarried child under at 21 years
- Through a qualified family member
- Unmarried adult child of a US Citizen
- Married child of US Citizen, their spouse, and minor children
- Brother or Sister of adult US Citizen, their spouse, and minor children
- Spouse, unmarried child, unmarried adult child of permanent resident
- Job Offer or Employment
- Priority workers, Advanced Degree holders, Skilled workers, professional and qualified workers, certain immigrants including ones in religious vocation, employment creators (investors and entrepreneurs)
- Refuge or Asylum Status
- Other ways determined by special categories
What are the advantages of having a Green Card?
The Green card is proof that you are legally able to reside and work in the US. You can petition for your family members that also want to immigrate to the US. After the required number of years, you can apply to become a US Citizen.
How long does the process take?
The process times vary depending on your original status or if you are basing your application on a familial relationship. It can take as little as 6 months to receive a green card, but you may have to wait anywhere between 2 and 20 years.
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