Apply for a Green Card


us-passport4Individuals who are seeking to take up residence in the United States must apply for a green card, which is officially known as a United States Permanent Residence Card. This card grants authorization by the U.S. government to citizens of other countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, the right to work and live in the U.S. permanently.

This card is so named due to its color and is the first step for those who may be seeking naturalization or U.S. citizenship. The U.S. offers this green card service to aid those who wish to enjoy the benefits of permanent status.

Family members of an individual seeking a green card can petition for that person. Several types of relationships qualify ranging from having a family member who is a U.S. citizen to one that is a permanent resident. Certain other situations apply for family such as widows of U.S. citizens, battered spouses or children of U.S. citizens or individuals born in the Untied States and whose parents are foreign diplomats.

A green card can also be requested in order to work permanently in the U.S. The type of job can make a difference and must show that U.S. citizens are not being displaced by those who come from abroad. Individuals who qualify as investors or entrepreneurs whose investments can generate jobs in the U.S. are also eligible.

Refugees, by law, must apply for a green card requesting permanent status 1 year past the date they gained admittance to the U.S. Those who entered seeking asylum are not required to apply but encouraged to do so. Family members of such individuals can submit the application for them.

Due to the high demand, the United States limits the number of cards issued each year. 50,000 green cards are granted annually through the U.S. Diversity Visa Program, also known as the U.S. green card lottery. Submittal to the green card lottery program must be done electronically through the U.S. Department of State, as mail-in applications will not be accepted.

Those who have been selected via the green card lottery receive notification by mail. To check on the status of a submittal see the web page for the U.S. Department of State. Look for the section titled "DV Entrant Status Check". Select the applicable year and enter the confirmation number provided at the time of application.

The steps to apply for a green card are relatively simple although the process can be time consuming. The best site for the most current information of each year's U.S. green card lottery and to track your application is what's posted by the U.S. Department of State.

Visit often to learn more information from our updated Apply for a Green Card.

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