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

  • How America’s Immigrant Workforce Is Changing
    Immigrants account for 17 percent of the American labor force.
  • Acquiring Work Visas in the United States for Employment Purposes
    For someone from a foreign country to enter the United States, he or she must acquire a visa. This may be a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary or limited time within the country, or this could be a permanent residence stay with a full immigrant visa.
  • Is Legal Status Possible If I Used a False Name on My Asylum Application?
    Asylum is a special immigration status that allows someone to potentially stay in a country even though he or she did not qualify for immigration on other grounds. Asylum may be granted to individuals who are being persecuted for religious or political beliefs.
  • How Expert Witnesses Are Tapped for Immigration Cases
    Immigration cases are often complicated when there are multiple factors or enough elements to cause a success for either side to be uncertain. Various immigration issues stem from those seeking asylum in the United States when they cannot remain in their own country.
  • U.S. Illegal Immigration and Considerations of Moving to Canada
    Individuals who are currently in the United States without proper documentation may decide to move to Canada at some point. Knowing how a move of this nature can affect an immigrant can help an immigrant make a more informed decision.
  • Why Green Card Holders Must Avoid Voter Registration
    While green card holders enjoy many of the same rights as American citizens, their rights are not absolute. For example, green card holders do not have the right to sit on a jury or receive funding for post-secondary expenses. Additionally, green card holders do not have the right to vote.
  • Are There Differences between a Visa and a Green Card?
    There are important differences between a visa and a green card. It is vital that you understand these differences thoroughly before you apply for either one. Not all people are eligible for both types of immigration benefits. While many people believe that visa and green cards are the same. This is not accurate information. Each one has its own purpose and different eligibility requirements.
  • Urgent Immigration Law Update: President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration
    On Wednesday and Friday of last week, President Donald Trump signed Executive Orders having far-reaching effects on U.S. immigration law and procedure. In an effort to inform and advise the public about these Executive Orders, [here is] a summary and relevant advisories.
  • Effect Felonies Have on Immigration Status
    When individuals commit crimes, they may not think clearly about the potential consequences of committing a crime. For many people, these consequences are often severe, including the possibility of being imprisoned or having to pay large fines. The consequences are even more severe for individuals who are not citizens.
  • DACA: A Short-Term Benefit May Create a Permanent Solution for Some
    For DACA holders who have U.S. citizen spouses, or DACA holders under the age of 21 with at least one U.S. parent or step-parent, the DACA program may open a door for them to be eligible for permanent residency.
  • 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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