What Does It Mean To Have a Green Card?

By  //  August 24, 2019

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If you are an immigrant to the United States, you want to see your dream to become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen of this country turn into reality.

If you are an immigrant to the United States, you want to see your dream to become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen of this country turn into reality.

You may have entered the country with a student visa, a work visa or any other entry permit that may come with an expiration deadline.

To make your journey a permanent one, you know you must obtain a lawful permanent residency card, also known as a green card, thus becoming a permanent resident.

Once you receive your green card, you do not need to be dependent on your job or school to be able to stay here.

You now have the freedom to choose your activity or occupation without limits as to what you can do or how long you can stay. Also, you are on the path toward citizenship after five years.

How Do You Apply To Get A Green Card?

Application for permanent residency is done through the USCIS or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. And to do so, you need to fill out Form I-551.

Do Green Cards Expire?

Yes, green cards have an expiration period of ten years. After that, you may renew them using form I-90. It is important to know that your status as a lawful permanent resident remains valid even if the date on your card has expired.

Are There Different Paths to Obtaining a Green Card?

There are several options open to you in your quest to obtain permanent residency status in the United States.

By completing a different set of requirements for each case, you can obtain your card:

  • Through your work and employer
  • Through a family reunion
  • By investing in $500,000 in a business that employs American workers
  • By winning the Green Card Diversity Lottery
  • By living in the United States for more than a year under a refugee or asylee status
  • By fitting into a category that defines you as a special immigrant

If you are eligible to receive a green card because of an investment or through a recent marriage to an American citizen, you may initially receive a temporary green card with a two-year expiration time frame.

If this is your case, 90 days before your temporary green card is due to expire, you must file either Form I-751 (marriage based) or form I-829 (investor).

Do You Have Any Rights Or Responsibilities as a Green Card Holder?

As a Green Card holder your rights include:

  • The right to live permanently in the United States
  • The right to work in any legal job that meets your qualifications or choosing
  • The right to be protected by the laws of the country, state and local jurisdiction

And your responsibilities decree that:

  • You must obey the law, be it federal, state or local
  • You must file a U.S. tax return every year
  • You must support the democratic way of government and not try to change it

Talk to an Immigration Lawyer

An immigration lawyer can help you traverse the path towards permanent residency in the United States. Work with a trusted immigration lawyer that will help you understand the U.S. immigration process.

You can expect to receive a variety of services, whether you require them for your family, your job or for any other immigration matter.

Call the Florida Immigration Law Counsel today to schedule your initial consultation and case review.

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