What is the process of obtaining a Green Card?


A Green Card, which is otherwise called as Permanent Resident Card acts as an authorization of a individual’s lawful permanent resident status in the United States. An individual with a Green Card has the right to live and work permanently in the United States. A person with a valid Green Card also means that he or she is registered in the United States in accordance with US immigration law.

United States offers many privileges to Green card holders such as the right to live and work permanently in the United States, travel in and out of United States with few conditions, apply for citizenship once he or she becomes eligible to be a citizen and may also sponsor certain family members.

Green Card Process:

If a person has a Green Card it does not mean that he is a citizen of the United States, whereas it is an authorization of a person’s permanent residential status and his or her right to work in the United States. The USCIS offers various ways in obtaining a Green Card. Most people obtain green card through family members, through employment, through marriage and through the Diversity Lottery program.

The Green Card process involves five steps which are detailed below:

Step 1: If an individual wishes to obtain green card, he or she must first determine the category through which he or she may apply. If the individual is married to a US citizen, then he or she may apply through marriage or if it based on the job, then he or she may apply through employment basis.

Step 2: The second step in the greencard process is filing the petition for green card. This step involves the sponsor filing the petition for the individual. The sponsor is a person who helps the individual to immigrate and obtain permanent resident status in the United States. If the individual has a job offer in the United States, the US employer must file a petition to the USCIS on behalf of the individual.

Step 3: Once the USCIS approves the petition from the sponsors, the next step will be processing the green card. There are two ways to process the green card which is Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing.

If the individual is within United States with a temporary visa during the green card process, then the applicant must file for Adjustment of Status. Adjustment of status refers to the procedure for becoming a lawful permanent resident without having to leave the United States.

If the foreign individual is outside United States during the green card process, then he or she must go through the consular processing method at the US embassy or Consulate in his or her home country.

Step 4 : On approval from USCIS, a case number will be allotted. Once the case numbers are provided, necessary forms must be filed with USCIS.

Step 5 : The last step involves the interview with the immigration official. The individuals must ensure that the interview is not missed. Failure to attend the interview might result in delay of getting a green card also might lead to denial of the application. If the immigration officials are convinced with the petition, the green card will be sent to the individual.

Permanent Residents are those who are given the rights to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. People obtain the green card in various ways and the green card process depends on the category the individual chooses.

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