How To Get Your Green Card And Live In The United States

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What is a green card?

A green card is a colloquial term for a Permanent Residence Card, known as such because of its green colour. Green cards are issued to immigrants who wish to live and work in the United States and gives them access to the rights, benefits and privileges associated with permanent residency. Obtaining a green card is a step towards being able to apply for full US citizenship through the naturalization process. 

How can you get a green card? 

The first thing you will want to do if you wish to get a green card is to research your eligibility and see which green card eligibility category you fall within.  There are 8 green card eligibility categories including: 

  1. Green card through family
    You will fall within this category if your spouse is a permanent resident of the United States or if you are the fiance of someone who is a permanent resident of the United States, this is sometimes referred to as a green card marriage.
  2. Green Card through Employment
    You may be eligible for a green card in this category if you are a skilled worker or a business investor.
  3. Green card as a special immigrant

You may fall into this category if you are a religious worker, an Afghanistan or Iraq national who served for the US government, a broadcaster for the media or a special immigrant juvenile, such as an abused refugee child.

  1. Green card through refugee or asylee status
    If you were granted refugee or asylum status at least a year ago then you may be eligible within this category. 
  2. Green card for human trafficking and crime victims

If you were the victim of human trafficking or were the victim of a crime and carry the relevant visa then you may be eligible for a green card through this category.

  1. Green card for victims of abuse
    If you were the abused spouse or child of an American citizen then you may be eligible in this category.
  2. Green card through other categories
    There are a number of other categories in which you may be eligble, it is best to read these through carefully.
  3. Green card through registry

Finally, if you have resided continuously in the U.S. since before January 1st 1972 then you may be eligible to apply for a green card. 

Once you know which category you fit into you will need to send off an immigrant petition and file a green card application form with USCIS (The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Once these have been received you will then need to provide fingerprints, photos and a signature at a biometrics appointment. Next, you will need to attend an interview designed to ensure that you are of good moral character and to test that the information you have submitted is accurate. The interview can be a very stressful part of the green card process and so you will want to make sure you are prepared. Finally, once the USCIS has deliberated a decision will be made based on the information that you have provided and your application will either be accepted or rejected. 

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