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How do you obtain a green card?

Like so many other families, you and your family may have immigrated to this country to make a better life for yourselves. And now you would like to stay here permanently. What do you need to do to stay? How do you obtain a green card? 

What is a green card?

In the United States, a permanent resident card, also known as a green card, gives you official immigration status and entitles you to certain rights and responsibilities. It is also required if you wish to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen. It gives you the right to live and work in the U.S. You must apply for the green card through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are several ways you can do that.

Ways to obtain a green card:

  • You can be sponsored by a family member who lives in the United States. This is one of the most common ways to get a green card and sometimes simpler. If you are related directly to a U.S. citizen, the U.S. immigration law allows your relative to petition for you on your behalf.
  • You can be sponsored by an employer in the United States. This category is divided in many subcategories, but essentially entails all instances of green cards being used for purposes related to a job offer, investment or a specialized job.
  • You may become a permanent resident through refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs.
  • You may be eligible for a green card if you are an entrepreneur, plan to hire at least 10 U.S. citizens and make an investment of either $1 million or $500,000 in a targeted employment area. You can apply for a green card for investment.

The green card process may take some time but it is worth it, if it means you get to live in the United States permanently. Once you receive the green card, it will last 10 years. Then, it will have to be renewed. If you are thinking of applying for a green card, it is good to know how the process works so you will be informed.

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