Green Card Law




A Green Card is the common term for the document granting formal permission to a resident alien to remain in the United States permanently. A Green Card holder (i.e., the permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States permanently. One can become a permanent resident (Green Card holder) several different ways.

Most who are granted Green Card holder status are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Others acquire Green Cards as a result of refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs, or are able to apply on their own.

To retain permanent resident status, one should not move to another country with the intention of remaining there permanently, remain outside the US for more than a year, fail to file tax returns, or declare themselves a “nonresident” on their tax returns.

For more information on obtaining and keeping a Green Card, you may review the materials below. Additionally, you can find a lawyer in your area that specializes in immigration law under the “Law Firms” tab found on the menu bar, above.

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Articles on HG.org Related to Green Cards

  • Can I Take the Bar Exam If I Am not a Citizen?
    Individuals who want to be lawyers generally must pass a bar exam. This test is perceived as one of the most grueling in the country, requiring many individuals to invest an entire legal education and post-graduation months preparing for it. The test is created in such a way that it should indicate whether a person is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction.
  • What E-2 Visa Holders Need to Know About Applying for a Green Card
    If you are an E-2 visa holder who has entered the U.S. to supervise or manage your investment in a U.S. venture and decide to make your stay more permanent, you can apply for a green card by filing a petition for either employment-based immigration or family-based immigration.
  • The Current Rhetoric on Immigration Stokes Fear, Ignores Facts
    Baseless, anti-immigrant rhetoric may stir certain segments of the voting bloc, but the facts will trump demagoguery. In reality, immigrants are crucially important to America. Immigrants enrich our culture, increase our productive capacity as a nation, and enhance our influence in the world.
  • 5 Common Misconceptions About the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program
    The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was established by Congress in 1990 to encourage foreign investment in the U.S. Over the past 26 years, the program has allowed thousands of foreign investors to make substantial capital investments in the U.S. Although the program has been in force for more than a quarter century, there are still some misconceptions about its purpose.
  • The Consequences of a DUI on Citizenship
    If a legal permanent resident wants to apply for naturalization, his or her conviction of a DUI may impact this decision. However, there are many factors that may be considered.
  • Employment-Based Immigration
    Approximately 140,000 immigrant visas are available each fiscal year for aliens (and their spouses and children) who seek to immigrate based on their job skills. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the United States. The five employment-based immigrant visa preferences (categories) are listed below.
  • Employment Immigration Visa Options for Florida Businesses
    Last year, the H-1B filing period lasted only five business days due to the high demand for H-1B visas. In 2015, there are 65,000 H-1B spots set aside for foreign nationals working for U.S. companies that meet the requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and 20,000 spots for those with U.S. master’s degrees. The demand for H-1B visas this year is expected to be even greater than in 2014.
  • 6 Circumstances Where You Need a Florida Immigration Attorney
    Those wishing to enter the U.S. as a legal immigrant or facing deportation often find the U.S. immigration process to be complicated, confusing and even frightening. Hiring an experienced Florida immigration attorney to help you navigate this process can increase the chances of a favorable outcome for your case.
  • How to Avoid Everyday Immigration Mistakes Employers Make
    Florida employers seeking to hire foreign nationals have several options for doing so through a variety of work visa options from the U.S. government. Most employers find the work visa application process confusing and frustrating, which is why it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney to assist you.
  • Retention of I-140 Priority Date for a Subsequent Employment-Based Petition
    A beneficiary of an approved I-140 petition for the first, second or third preference category may retain the priority date of the approved petition for any subsequently filed first, second or third category employment-based petition.
  • All Immigration Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Immigration including: extradition, green cards, naturalization and citizenship, visas, work permits and visas.

Green Cards – US

  • Form I9 Employment Eligibility

    The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires all U.S. employers to verify the employment eligibility and identity of all employees as of November 6, 1986. This includes both identity and work eligibility.

  • Green Card Definition - United States Immigration Support

    A Green Card or Permanent Resident Card serves as proof of a person's lawful permanent resident status in the United States. An individual with a Green Card has the right to live and work permanently in the United States. A person’s valid Green Card also means that he or she is registered in the U.S. in accordance with United States immigration law.

  • National Interest Waiver Green Card

    In recent years, obtaining a green card based on a National Interest Waiver application has become much more difficult. However, in very specific situations it is still an option that should be considered as a means of obtaining a green card without having to navigate through the lengthy and uncertain labor certification application process.

  • The Green Card Test and the Substantial Presence Test - IRS

    An alien may become a resident alien by passing either the green card test or the substantial presence test as explained on this site.

  • United States - Permanent Residence

    A United States Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card (due to its color in the earlier versions), is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States of America. Green card also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident. The green card serves as proof that its holder, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the USA. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the US if certain conditions of this status are not met.

  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

    This page provides information on the services provided by USCIS to applicants, petitioners, authorized representatives, community-based organizations, and the general public. Included among the immigration benefits the USCIS oversees are: citizenship, lawful permanent residency, family and employment-related immigration, employment authorization, inter-country adoptions, asylum and refugee status, replacement immigration documents, and foreign student authorization.

  • US Department of State - Official Site of the Visa Lottery

    The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

  • US Employment Based Green Cards

    There are two ways to obtain a so-called US Green Card (permanent residence). One way is through a family member. The other way is to obtain an employment-based Green Card (you can also try for the annual Green Card diversity lottery). This section discusses three types of Employment-based Green Cards.

Organizations Related to Green Cards

  • America Green Card Organization

    Green card is your ticket to obtaining a permanent US residence. It is one of the easiest way to immmirgate into the United States of America. An applicant is only required to be a native born in an eligible country and have high school education or equivalent experience. The green card applications are collected and processed by the State Department of United States of America, and the qualifying ones are shuffled by a computer and drawn randomly until a quota is reached. A successfully drawn green card application is considered winning and entitles the applicant to live and work in United States as an equal citizen. Every year US government hands out 50,000 of green cards.

  • Consumer Fraud Reporting - Green Card Scams

    Here's an interesting green card VISA lottery scam. The email claims that the "winner" won a United States green card... through a "lottery promotion". The email starts with "We wish to notify you that you had been selected among the lucky winner's of the U.S Visa lottery (GREEN CARD) through our e-mail ballot lottery program held on the 20th of March 2007 in-Helsinki-(FINLAND)"

  • Unite Families

    Many lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are currently living in the United States, separated from their families. These are mostly young families — a husband or wife, separated from their spouse and young child. They are waiting for their I-130 petitions (petition for relative) to be approved. The current waiting time is 5 years. While they wait, their spouse and child are not allowed to enter the U.S., even for a brief visit. The permanent resident, on the other hand, must reside predominantly in the U.S., otherwise they lose their permanent residency status. Immigration law is splitting them.

Publications Related to Green Cards

  • Green Card and Naturalization - How to Become a Legal Immigrant

    Gaining citizenship in the United States is a challenge. However, if you go about things in the right way, it is possible to become a legal immigrant.

  • Green Card Articles

    USA Green Card was founded in 1997 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. We are the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the preparation, processing, and submission of Diversity Immigrant Visa ("Green Card") Lottery applications.

  • US Tax Guide for Aliens

    You should first determine whether, for income tax purposes, you are a nonresident alien or a resident alien. Figure 1-A will help you make this determination. If you are both a nonresident and resident in the same year, you have a dual status. Dual status is explained later. Also explained later are a choice to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident and some other special situations.




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