Green Card Law



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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

  • Whistleblowers Helping the Public By Exposing Fraud
    The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted to assist the government with discovering financial fraud. A recent SEC whistleblower received a $14 million dollar reward for reporting a real estate scam.
  • Parole in Place for Immediate Relatives of Members of U.S. Armed Forces
    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a new policy on November 15, 2013, that will allow immigrants in the United States illegally who are close relatives of active military troops and veterans to stay and move toward becoming permanent residents.
  • Important Factors Affecting Immigration
    U.S. immigration law is very complex, and can be very confusing. In order to understand the process, you need to understand the factors related to the law and policies of immigration.
  • Another Successful I-601 Waiver of Grounds Of Inadmissibility Under My Belt
    Under section 212(i)(1) of the INA, the Attorney General may waive the misrepresentation committed by Edgar provided he can establish to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that Amanda, his U.S. citizen mother, will suffer extreme hardship if Edgar is not allowed to immigrate to the United States. The application for waiver is filed through Form I-601.
  • The White House Stands Its Ground on Road to Citizenship
    At the beginning of this past May, President Barack Obama publicly announced that he would look for a compromise in order to get a comprehensive immigration bill signed before the year is over. He also had stated that he will not compromise on his insistence that any immigration legislation must contain a path to citizenship for immigrants without their documents.
  • Final Rule on Processing I-601 Hardship Waiver Will Take Effect on March 4, 2013.
    The waiver for unlawful presence may be granted only if the noncitizen is the spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If the waiver is being sought for a noncitizen fiancé(e), the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) also may be a qualifying relative. It should be noted that children of the noncitizen are not qualifying relatives for purposes of this waiver.
  • Frequent Travel Abroad and Abandonment of Legal Permanent Resident Status
    A returning legal resident returning from an absence of less than a year who presents his Green Card at the port of entry is not assured that he will be readmitted to the United States. While an Green Card satisfies the requirement of presenting a valid entry document, its presentation is not evidence that he is "returning from a temporary visit abroad." For this reason, it is possible that a returning resident might be denied entry if deemed to have abandoned his legal residence status.
  • Asylum in the United States: Application, Court, and Asylum Benefits
    A person who is fearing persecution in his/her country may request the Unites States government to provide protection by submitting an application form I-589 and supporting documents. The person must be physically present in the United States to do so. If a person is asking for protection outside the United States, the person is called a refugee.
  • Is There a Difference between a Visa and a Green Card
    You must learn about the differences between a green card and a visa before you apply for any of the two. A lot of people seem to believe that a visa and a green card refer to the same thing. However, a visa and a green card are indeed different from each other. Each has its own purpose and eligibility requirements.
  • Immigration Issues – Where do Obama and Romney Stand
    We hope that both Candidates continue supporting the DREAMers, and higher-skilled immigrants (L1A,H1B,O1). The results of this year’s election can change the White House’s approach on immigration. The Presidential elections are less than one month away and both candidates are in a full-throttle attempt to persuade more people to vote for him rather than his opponent.
  • 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)"

  • Green Card for All

    USAGC Organization invites you to participate in the American Green Card Lottery where you can win a green card to Live and Work in United States of America. If you are not an American citizen, this is your chance to take advantage of this opportunity offered to you by the US Government official law "DV Green Card Lottery".

  • 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

    The process for a foreign citizen to legally acquire a green card and eventually become a legal naturalized citizen of the U.S. is difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Many critics of the system maintain that if the process was simpler there would be far fewer foreign citizens entering and remaining in the U.S. illegally.

  • 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.

  • USCIS - Redesigned Green CardFact Sheet

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card - commonly known as the "Green Card" - to incorporate several major new security features. State-of-the-art technology prevents counterfeiting, obstructs tampering, and facilitates quick and accurate authentication of the card. Beginning today, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format.