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A Green Card, or Permanent Resident Card, is a permanent visa for the USA that is renewable. A green card gives you the status of a permanent resident along with legal rights to work in the USA. Once you have a green card, you may apply for US citizenship after a few years of staying in the USA. The green card does not affect your current citizenship status. Typically, a green card is issued for 10 years, but it can be renewed by submitting a green card renewal application.
Your US green card also gives you the same rights as an American citizen, including all protection from the US Federal, State, and Local laws on par with any US citizen, while at the same time allowing you to also retain your citizenship in your native country
Best Tool During The Green Card Process: Visa Bulletin - What It Is & How To Navigate It?
Every year the US issues a certain number of green cards under different categories. Depending upon eligibility and qualification, one can apply under one of these individual categories to get a green card that will grant permanent residency in the US to the beneficiary.
Based on various eligibility criteria, you may apply for one of the following. The process and timelines for each category varies:
Employment-based Green Cards can be divided into EB1, EB2, EB3 Green Card Categories. Green Card through Employer can be attained when a US employer is willing to sponsor your green card. It is a multi-step process and involves an elaborate application filing for a fee.
Learn more about each of the employment based green card categories:
Family-Based Green Card (including Marriage Based Green Card)
You can receive a green card if a family member who is a US citizen sponsors your green card. This has to be a close relative and includes spouse, children, parents and siblings only.
To be eligible to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States you must meet the following criteria:
To be eligible for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following criteria:
The EB5 Green Card, also known as immigrant investor program, is an employment based green card category that allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency in the United States.
Process, document requirements and eligibility varies for the EB-5 investment visa and might require n immigration lawyer to assist with.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as Green Card Lottery, Diversity Visa Lottery, or DV Lottery, is a US Government visa program that allots 55,000 immigrant visas (green cards) to foreign nationals of underrepresented countries each year. It is through the green card lottery that immigrant visas are made available to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.
The USA green card lottery program is held by the State Department and is open to all individuals from qualifying countries who meet the diversity visa lottery eligibility requirements. The DV lottery runs each year from October to November, where chosen applicants are randomly selected using a computer-generated system.
Those who are selected in the DV lottery will be given the opportunity to apply for permanent residency (green card).
People who fear persecution in their home country or are victims of human trafficking, abuse or crime may be eligible to get entry into the US and seek long term shelter. If proven to be eligible, they will be granted a green card that will have to be renewed periodically.
For FAQs on seeking US asylum, and eligibility with burden of proof, you should contact a US embassy for details.