A Green Card or Permanent Resident Card serves as proof of a person’s lawful permanent resident status in the United States. An individual with a Green Card has the right to live and work permanently in the United States. A person’s valid Green Card also means that he or she is registered in the U.S. in accordance with United States immigration law.
There are various ways to qualify for a Green Card and a person may have several choices on how to apply. For example, a person may qualify for a Green Card through employment but also qualify for a Green Card through a relative. In this scenario it is important to understand what type of application will be more likely be approved and processed faster. Obtaining a Green Card through employment means that the applicant must first have been issued a work visa, such as an H-1B Visa, and that the applicant’s company must act as the Sponsor for the applicant. It is recommended to learn about the different criteria of eligibility for Green Cards and to determine how you can best prepare for your application. The Green Card application process is different depending on what criteria the applicant qualifies under and whether the applicant is applying from within the United States or abroad.
Green Card holders have several privileges including:
- The right to live permanently in the United States
- The right to work in the United States
- The right to travel abroad for a certain period of time
- The opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain amount of years as a Green Card holder
- The right to petition for a Green Card for the applicant’s spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years of age