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Green Card Application in 3 Simple Steps

Feb 25, 2008
The permanent resident card, more commonly known as the green card is a type of identification card that proves of an alien's legal status as a permanent resident of the United States. Along with the green card comes the individual's right to reside and take employment in the country. Several rules are imposed to all the green card holders. These rules are bound to be followed in order to preserve their given status. Failure to abide by the said rules will result to consequences such as the cancellation of the permanent resident card or in some cases, the deportation of the individual from the United States.

The application and the processing of documents for the attainment of a green card may take several years. The type of immigrant category in which the applicant belongs to including his country of origin are subjected to careful examinations which makes the whole process lengthy. Normally, an immigrant has to go through a 3 step process in order to obtain a green card.

An immigrant petition must first be filed to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a qualified relative or employer. Only then can the applicant proceed to the second step of the green card processing.

The second step involves the procurement of a visa number in the visa center of the United Stated Department of State (USDOS). Visa numbers however are hard to come by since only a limited number of it is allowed to be released each year. Immigrants usually have to wait very long for this despite the presence of the approval of their petition. Only those with an immediate relative as their petitioner are spared of the trouble of waiting.

With a visa number, the applying immigrant can now proceed to the next step which is the application for an immigrant visa. This can be done in the USCIS or, in the case wherein the applicant is still outside the country, in the nearest US consulate. A series of background checks are done for the adjustment of the immigrant's status. The individual is than permitted to stay in the US but is not allowed to leave until the application is approved or rejected.

Applicants who really need to leave the country must obtain an advance parole that will allow him to temporarily leave the United States. In cases where the applicant's work permit has expired before the approval of the green card, the individual is required to get an Employment Authorization Document before he can resume working legally again.

The immigrant receives an LPR status upon the approval of his application. The actual green card will then be mailed to his last known mailing address, thus completing the whole process
About the Author
Min Zhu is an author, mother, and immigrant from China. For more information visit:
American Green Card
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