All about getting a Green Card

24 May 2023 - Category: Blog /
greencard us

Thinking about how can you get, renew or replace an outdated Green Card? People all over the world regard the United States of America as a land of possibilities, but relocating to the United States can be difficult. The ultimate goal of efforts to permanently move to the United States comes in the form of a Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card.


What is a Green Card, and What Does it Allow?

A Green Card grants a person legal immigration status in the United States of America. A Green Card is the only legal way for immigrants to obtain permanent residency. It provides several rights to the holder, though these are not the same as those granted to U.S. citizens. Many individuals from outside the United States want a green card since it grants them permanent resident status, allowing them to establish themselves (legally) anywhere in the United States and apply for U.S. citizenship within three or five years.

How do you get a green card?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services states:

An applicant must have continuously resided in the United States for 5 years before filing for a Green Card.

Aside from that, there are some general ways for a non-resident to obtain a Green Card. The most common routes are through a family member, an employer, refugee or asylum status, an immigrant investor, or the permanent resident lottery.

  • You can apply on the foundation of US-based employment due to asylum status or if you have a close family member who is a U.S. citizen. Individuals granted refugee status must apply for a Green Card after one year of residing in the country.
  • To be considered for a family-based Green Card, you must be the parent or spouse of a citizen, an unmarried child under the age of 21, a family member of a citizen who fits into a preference category, or a member of a special category.
  • If you are trying for a green card through employment, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability in your field of work. Visit the Green Card Through a Job page for more qualifying and necessary documentation information.
  • Another typical way to obtain a green card is as an immigrant investor. To meet that requirement, you must invest at least $1 million (£767,000) in a business that will boost the U.S. economy and employ at least 10 full-time employees.
  • Aside from the common methods for obtaining permanent resident status, an immigrant can obtain a Green Card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery.

How to get a green card fast?

Marriage to a U.S. citizen is the most convenient way to immigrate. The entire process takes only 6-9 months, after which a temporary green card is issued. You can contact USCIS again in two years to get permanent resident status--a permanent green card.

GREEN CARD HOLDER RULES: How many days can a green card holder stay outside the U.S.?

Living outside the US for 6 months or more per year, you risk abandoning your green card. If you've been given lawful permanent residency in the United States, often known as acquiring a green card, you'll have many new rights. Therefore, knowing the conditions under which your green card may be lost or forcibly abandoned is essential.

Being a U.S. permanent resident is a privilege, not a right. Under certain conditions, the U.S. government has the authority to cancel your green card and hence your lawful residency status.

These include:

  • You violate U.S. law.
  • You do not renew your green card.
  • You overlook submitting your U.S. tax returns..
  • You do not register for Selective Service, or you stay abroad for an extended period of time.
  • You neglect to notify USCIS of any address changes.

In general, you can stay outside the United States for up to a year. If you have been granted a Re-Entry Permit, which applicants must apply for while in the United States, you can remain outside the country as long as your Re-Entry Permit remains valid.

Pro Tip: Always make sure that you haven't given up your LPR status by going abroad for a long time.

What Happens if My Green Card is Expired?

The modern green card has a 10-year expiration date. An expired green card creates serious problems. In most states, a valid, unexpired green card is required to apply for work, reenter the United States, or even renew a driver's license. An expired green card does not mean you are no longer a lawful permanent resident of the United States. You keep that status forever (unless you do such a huge crime that makes you deportable or stay abroad too long when traveling). An expired green card just indicates that you need the most updated version. To file for a green card renewal, follow these steps:

  • Create an online account with USCIS.
  • Fill out Form I-90.
  • Upload any necessary documentation, such as a copy of your expired or soon-to-expired green card..
  • Examine and sign your application digitally.
  • Pay the required government fees and then submit your application.

Pro Tip: Keep your green card's expiration date in mind to prepare ahead to fulfill renewal criteria, especially if you expect to travel overseas. With an outdated green card, you may be unable to reenter the United States or perform other life chores, such as finding a new job.

Sending money from the US

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