Living The American Dream: Applying for a Green Card

A green card allows a non-US citizen to gain permanent residence in the United States. However, the conditionality of the same can depend on various factors.

A green card can essentially be used to lawfully live and work in the US by utilizing state given license. However, how do you apply for one?

Pre-requisites to consider before applying:


In order to apply for a green card, you have to be eligible under one of the categories listed below:

• Green Card through the Family

The US government makes sure families stay together if one member of the family emigrates to the states. If you are the spouse, minor child, or parent of a US citizen. However, each familial case is subject to restrictions individually and essentially has to go through a certain waiting period between the categories which carries on with a green card photo.

• Green Card through a Job

There are a few visa options for those seeking to take up work in the United States. Which visa is required depends on the type of work and under what conditions. Therefore, each case needs to be individually assessed. Crucial factors when deciding on a work visa include qualifications, citizenship, the planned length of stay, and company affiliation or corporate constellation.

• Green card being an asylee or a refugee:

You will be eligible to apply as an asylee or a refugee if you had been granted asylum status or refugee status at least 1 year ago.

• Green card for human trafficking victims and crime victims:

You will be eligible if you were a victim of human trafficking irrespective of the degrees and currently possess a T nonimmigrant visa or if you are a victim due to a crime and possess a U nonimmigrant visa.

• Green card through the registry:

You will be able to apply for a green card if you have already resided in the US before Jan 1, 1972. Applying for the Green Card: It is pivotal to remember that a Green Card can only be obtained through a sponsorship basis essentially by completing two different forms called an immigrant petition and a green card application (Form I-485). Given below are some of the most common forms:

• Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

• Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

• Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition

• Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal

After completing the necessary forms, you will be able to apply for an application.

General application process:

The steps taken to obtain a green card may vary in regard to the individual involved. However, the general application process lies henceforth:

• Provide biometrics, photos, and a signature at the nearby consulate.

• Appear for an interview.

• Receive a decision on your application.

• The government filing fees for a family basis green card is $1,760 for us Nationals or $1200 for applicants living outside the US.

How long is the green card valid for?

Although there is no set number of times a green card can be renewed, the validity of a green card lasts for 10 years and has to be renewed every ten years. This case only applies to people who have not applied for citizenship through naturalization.

What are your rights to a green card?

• Prove your eligibility in the United States and provide employment verification.

• Apply for a social security card and a driver’s license.

Things to note after a green card has been granted:

• Removing conditions on a two-year green card:

If you are a conditional permanent resident on the basis of your employment or anything else, you will not be able to renew your green card. Hence, you should file for a petition 90 days prior to the expiration date of your green card. If it’s family-based you must fill the Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or if you are a working professional, you must fill the Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.

• Replacement of your green card:

• Lawful permanent residents need to replace the card if it’s based on certain conditions. However, filing for the same can be done by filling the form I-90 on the USCIS website.

• A Green Card is valid for readmission to the United States after a trip abroad if you do not leave for longer than 1 year. If your trip will last longer than 1 year, a reentry permit is needed.

To finalize your application, take the green card optimized passport photo at home:

  • A pivotal part of your green card application is adhering to the guidelines to come up with the perfect passport photo. You can create it easily with your smartphone 24/7 without leaving the comfort of your house.
  • Whether you need a photo for your driver’s license, passport, iD card, or any other official document – Smartphone iD is the perfect solution and it’s available on all platforms receive it shortly in your email and/or within a few days – in your mailbox.

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