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

  • Passport Seized Pending Possible Deportation - Will It Be Returned?
    When a foreign national is in the United States, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency (ICE) may detain the person if he or she is a suspect in a crime. It is crucial that the individual contact immigration services or a lawyer versed in immigration matters before seeking any action that may lead for further consequences.
  • U.S. Green Card Marriage Interview: Common Questions
    The process of a green card marriage may lead to several interviews with the immigration authorities where the couple may fall under suspicion of a false relationship or a fake marriage. However, preparation and follow-through with an awareness of what common questions that may arise helps the couple demonstrate the legitimacy of the relationship.
  • Can I Acquire Work Authorization While I am a Student with F1 Visa?
    When a foreign national is already a student through granted F1 visa status, he or she faces several restrictions that may remove the possibility of work authorization before the degree is complete. Even amidst these limitations, the student may acquire employment in the United States that may extend or change a visa to a work or permanent green card.
  • Immigration Law: How to Become a Student with a Visa?
    Becoming a student with a visa in the United States usually starts at the home country of the foreign national. These steps start with contact through an immigration office, but some students may initiate the transfer to an F1 visa for study abroad through a university, and this could lead to educational opportunities in the states.
  • How Do I Extend my Student Visa?
    Foreign nationals that are in the United States through a student visa need to remain attentive to the paperwork and files necessary for visa extension. When the deadline for filing approaches or when an extension filed requires help, these foreign students must contact the appropriate offices to provide whatever additional details demanded.
  • How to Acquire a Permanent Resident Card for the United States?
    Moving to the United States is either increasingly difficult or a moderately hard accomplishment for a foreign national. These factors are dependent on the federal government laws and regulations that affect foreign citizens based on what is believed a good or bad idea.
  • What Is Marriage Immigration Fraud?
    There are incidents of United States citizens selling their marriage rights to foreign nationals for a visa, so they may remain in the country or immigrate. When these actions occur, and the couple is not truly together, this is considered marriage immigration fraud and could lead to penalties, deportation and fines.
  • How to Acquire a Green Card through Employment
    Acquiring a green card for a foreign citizen is much easier when he or she has already obtained authorization to work in the United States and is provided sponsorship with the company. Through the business or organization, the individual may progress through employment verification, authorization and then permanent residency with the ability to work in the country.
  • How to Acquire Foreign Worker Certification
    When someone lives in another country or wants to move there, it is important to acquire a foreign worker certification. For a person seeking work in the United States, this is obtained through the Department of Agriculture for laborers with farms and other locations and the Department of Labor for most other persons.
  • How Long Does an I-601 Visa Take to Process?
    Certain immigrants are considered “inadmissible,” which typically results in them being denied admission into the country or provides grounds to have them removed from the country. However, some immigrants can still be legally admitted to the country if they can have their grounds for inadmissibility waived through an I-601 application. The processing time for this type of immigration relief varies by applicant.
  • 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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