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Green Card (Permanent Residence)

What is a Green Card?:

The green card is a permanent document which allows an individual to live and work permanently in the United States. It also allows you to travel abroad and return directly. This document is issued and valid for 10 years, so it is necessary to renew three months before maturity, otherwise you run the risk of being deported.


Who is a Green Card Holder (Permanent Resident)?


A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.” You can become a permanent resident in several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents through refugee, asylum status, or other humanitarian programs.

Green Card Eligibility:


You may be eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) through your family, a job offer or employment, refugee or asylum status, or a number of other special provisions. In some cases, you may even be able to self-petition or have a record created for permanent residence on your behalf. In general, to meet the requirements for permanent residence in the United States, you must:


  • Be eligible for one of the immigrant categories established in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  • Have a qualifying immigrant petition filed and approved for you (with a few exceptions)
  • Have an immigrant visa immediately available
  • Be admissible to the United States


Green Card through Family Petition:


  • Parents of a U.S. Citizen
    : U.S. citizens must be at least 21 years old to apply for their parents.
  • Spouses of a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Widower of a U.S. Citizen


Green Card through a Job:


Green Card through a Job Offer:


You may be eligible to become a permanent resident based on an offer of permanent employment in the United States. Most categories require an employer to get a labor certification and then file a Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, for you.


Green Card through Investment:


Green cards may be available to investors/entrepreneurs who are making an investment in an enterprise that creates new U.S. jobs.


Green Card through Special Categories of Jobs:


There are a number of specialized jobs that may allow you to get a green card based on a past or current job, such as:


  • Afghan/Iraqi Translator
  • Broadcaster
  • International Organization Employee
  • Iraqi Who Assisted the U.S. Government
  • NATO-6 Nonimmigrant
  • Panama Canal Employee
  • Physician National Interest Waiver
  • Religious Worker


Green Card Through Refugee or Asylee Status:


Refugees and Asylees can apply for a Green Card.


If you were admitted to the United States as a refugee or the qualifying spouse or child of a refugee, you are required to apply for permanent residence (a green card) 1 year after your entry into the United States in this status. If you were granted asylum in the United States or are a qualifying spouse or child of an asylee, you may apply for permanent residence 1 year after the grant of your asylum status.


If you are a refugee, you are required by law to apply for a green card 1 year after being admitted to the United States in refugee status.


If you are an asylee or asylee derivative spouse or child, you are not required to apply for a green card 1 year after being granted asylum or 1 year after being admitted to the United States in asylum status, although it may be in your best interest to do so.

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