1. What is a Green Card?
A green card is a photo identification that allows an alien to legally reside and work in the United States permanently. It is the final step before an alien can become a U.S. citizen. There are many different ways you can petition for a green card, whether it’s through your family (U.S. citizen), job, or refugee or asylum status.
2. What is the process?
You may qualify if:
- You are married to a U.S. citizen
- If you’re the child of a U.S. citizen and are under 21 and unmarried
- Have a U.S. citizen child over 21
- Married a U.S. permanent resident
- Have a U.S citizen sibling who is over the age of 21
- Engaged to a U.S citizen
- A U.S. based employer is sponsoring you for a job in the U.S.
- Have been afforded status through the asylum or refugee process.
In order to apply for a green card:
- You must have an approved Immigrant Visa Petition (for example: Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, etc.); and you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS.
- Using Road to Status’s software, prepare your applications and use our instructions to gather the evidence you need to support your applications. Once everything is ready, you will submit them to USCIS for review.
- Once USCIS has received your application, they will send the applicant for the Green Card a notice for a biometrics appointment where USCIS will take their photo and fingerprints.
- If USCIS determines that additional information is needed, you may receive a Request for Evidence.
- Once all of USCIS’s questions have been answered and the application is done being processed at the service center, you will be scheduled for an interview at your local USCIS office to review your application and answer questions as needed.
As part of this process, you will also have to show that there is a current, available visa for you.
3. What are the advantages of a Green Card?
- You may legally reside and work in the United States. permanently.
- You may petition for relatives who want to immigrate to the United States.
- You have more employment opportunities.
4. How long does the process take?
- On average, it takes about 6 months to receive your green card after you have submitted your application to USCIS, but processing times are always changing and may vary depending on your local office.
- If your green card is based on a familial relationship, you must first have an approved I-130 visa petition. Depending on how close the relationship is to the Petitioner, and what country the beneficiary is from, that may be no wait (for parents, unmarried minor children, and spouses of a U.S. citizen) or it may mean a wait of 2 years or even 20 years.