Blog-What is a Green card?
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What is a Green card?

Being a U.S. citizen is not the same as being a U.S. permanent resident. Although both categories imply permanent residence, benefits, and employment eligibility among other things, there are status differences. When you’re a U.S. citizen, you can vote. As a U.S. permanent resident, you’re still a citizen of another country who can’t vote in the United States. After you receive a Green card due to your approved immigration visa, you establish a permanent residence.

How do I get a Green card?

There are different means of obtaining one, but family-based and employment-based permanent residence have been the most popular. In addition, people apply for the Diversity Visa every year, hoping that they’ll get a Green card in the future. If you have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident immediate relative, they might petition for your visa that will lead you towards a Green card. Besides that, obtaining employment in the U.S. is another sure way of receiving a Green card in your mail.

What is a “lawful permanent resident”?

It refers to a Green card holder. In other words, as a lawful permanent resident, you hold a permanent residence card that allows you to stay in the U.S. for a prolonged period of time, get an array of benefits, and start working. There is a yearly cap on Green cards granted to citizens of particular countries, such as India and China. Nevertheless, people apply for an immigration visa that will lead them to lawful permanent residence. 

What I can and cannot do on a Green card?

You can stay in the U.S., work, get educated, and enjoy particular benefits that you qualify for. You can leave the U.S. for under six months and get back, without having to file for a permanent residence card again. Staying more than the allowed period of time is not recommended because your Green card might get canceled. If you stay over a year, there is a high possibility you will lose your lawful permanent resident status. In the majority of cases, the outcome depends on your travel reason. 

What happens after?

In three to five years, you might qualify for U.S. citizenship. Your Green card is a constituent part of your U.S. citizenship journey. Make sure you don’t overstay your stay outside the U.S. and commit any felonies that could make you deportable.

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