A Few Things You Should Know About the USA Green Card

What is a U.S. Green Card?

A Green Card is a type of identification card that serves as a proof of authorization that a person has been granted to stay in the United States as a permanent resident. The colloquial name “Green Card” is attributed because of the card’s historical greenish color. Immigrants who were granted with Green Card are considered as a permanent resident in the country, and stay there however long the person wishes to.

Once a person is lawfully authorized to be a permanent U.S. resident, he or she may leave the country multiple times and re-enter, as long as the person does not intend to stay outside the country for a year or more. Moreover, a Green Card may also be revoked based on numerous grounds, including abandonment, fraud, or participation on certain criminal activities.

Can You Live in the U.S. Without a Green Card?

Yes, people can live in the country legally, even without a Green Card. In fact there are two ways such as, (1) having a immigrant and non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who wish to enter the country temporarily for study, medical treatment, temporary work, tourism, business, or other similar reasons, (2) utilizing the Visa Waiver Program or VWP to enable citizens of participating countries to travel to the country for business, education, tourism, or other related purposes in the span of 90 days or less without U.S. visa.

These options can allow a foreign national to reside in the U.S. for a temporary period of time. Some people unlawfully stay in the country without acquiring a green card. These people are referred to as “Illegal Aliens,” because they work and reside in the country without having taxes taken out from them. Foreign nationals who are staying in the country even after the expiration of their parole documents or entry visa are also considered to be an illegal immigrant.

What Benefits Do Green Card Holders Get?

A Green Card holder is someone who is considered as a permanent resident in the U.S. With that said, the benefits of acquiring this authorization card, includes the following:

* Attend vocational schools, universities, and colleges for less, since the country changes international students with 50% more tuition fee compared to permanent residents.

* The country allows people with Green Card to lawfully sponsor their immediate relatives and grant them to reside in the country with you. Immediate relatives would only include parents, spouses, and unmarried children below 21 years of age.

* On the other hand, through the category called Preferred Family, you are also given the ability to sponsor any preferred extended relative that meets the eligibility requirements imposed by the government.

* You can lawfully travel anywhere you wish in the country, without any limitations and prohibitions. As compared to student visa or temporary visa holders, you can reside and travel with ease for as long as you want.

* Permanent residents are also qualified to receive retirement benefits after 10 years of working, and enjoy many of the same rights as American citizens have.

* Another notable benefit of having this authorization card is it allows you to have access to more career opportunities. You can even be a sole proprietor and establish your own business if you wish.

What is the Difference Between a Citizenship and Green Card?

According to the statistics, foreign-born residents made up 13.7 percent of the current U.S. population in the country. As a result of this, there has been a growing confusion on the difference between U.S. citizenship and U.S. Green Card.

Although both share a couple of similarities, they are two different groups and they should not be interchanged with each other. The primary differentiating factor is that U.S. citizens are entitled to vote and are considered as a permanent resident forever.

On the other hand, people who acquired their Green Card are only authorized to stay in the country during the validity period of their Green Card, and they do not have voting rights unlike U.S. citizens.

Is Green Card a Visa?

The primary difference between these two is that visa is only a temporary pass that allows a person to enter the U.S. and remain there for a specific period of time, whereas the Green Card is a permit that does not just allow a person to enter the country, but also grants them permanent residency within the validity of their Green Card.

As mentioned earlier, an immigrant visa simply allows a person to reside in the country for a specific period, and he or she can become a permanent resident upon Green Card application.

What are the Qualifications?

In order to apply for a U.S. Green Card, a person should meet the following requirements:

* Be qualified for at least one of the existing immigrant categories imposed by the U.S. government

* Have an approved immigrant petition that was filed for you

* Own a readily-available immigrant visa

Different Types of Immigrant Categories:

* Special Immigrants

* Immediate relative of a U.S. citizen

* Extended relative of a U.S. citizen

* Winning from Diversity Immigrant Visa

* Preferred employees by business institutions

* Victims of abuse, crime victims, and human trafficking

Need Help for Green Card Application?

Green Card application can be a tedious and overwhelming task for some people, especially because many people are still unaware of the application process, eligibility requirements, needed documents, and different immigrant categories that are available.

But the good news is, you can seek help and make the complex nature of immigration much bearable. However, before you choose any company, choosing a trusted and reputable company is crucial for you to achieve your goals of residing, working, and living a great life in the U.S.

Lightman Immigration is an award-winning New York City based immigration law firm that offers legal services related to Green Cards, visa, deportation defence, asylum, and other related matters. With over three decades of service, Lightman has proven the quality of their service in the field.

Show More