Obtaining A Green Card Lawfully In The Country

Obtaining a Green Card lawfully in the country
A Green Card is basically a nickname or an informal term used for the permanent residency of the country. It becomes an identity proof of a permanent resident, authorizing them to reside as well as take up a job in the country.

Why is the lawful permanent residency of the country known as Green Card?

  • The lawful permanent residency of the country was initially known as Alien Registration Card.
  • This card was green in color, which gave it the name Green Card.
  • However, even though the green color of the card is entirely discontinued, the name persists.
  • Green Card is the informal name for the immigration status of the permanent residency of the country.

Who is entitled to get a Green Card?

  • An individual who is 18 years or older and has resided in the country for the last 5 years can get a Green Card.
  • The person should be living physically in the country for at least 30 days in those 5 years to be entitled to receive permanent residency.

For how long is the Green Card valid, and when is it up for renewal?

  • Green Cards acquired by the permanent residents of the country between the period of January 1977 and August 1989 do not have any expiry date.
  • Normal permanent residents of the country get a Green Card valid for a decade and hence the individual must do a renewal.
  • A conditional permanent resident gets a Green Card valid for a period of 2 years, after which it is up for renewal.

What problems can occur if conditions related to the Green Card are not followed?

  • A person who is 18 years and above is required to carry their Green Card at all times.
  • If a person fails to do this, they are subject to a fine of $100 as well as imprisonment for a period of upto 30 days.
  • The person holding the Green Card may also be removed from the nation if the rules that are mandatory of them to follow are not adhered to.

How can you apply for a Green Card?

  • A conditional permanent resident holding a Green Card valid for 2 years cannot apply for a Green Card until the conditions are removed.
  • For the conditions to be removed, a petition needs to be filed by the individual 90 days prior to the date of expiry of this Green Card.
  • A normal permanent resident holding a Green Card valid for a period of 10 years can apply for the renewal of the Green Card.
  • An immigrant can also apply for a Green Card by a simple procedure that involves three steps.
  • Most commonly in the case of individuals, the two common forms that need to be filled in are a petition and the Green Card application form.
  • The Green Card application form 1-90 can be filed either by mail, on paper, or online.

Who can file a petition?

  • Depending on the eligibility category that the permanent resident belongs to, there are some cases where the individual can file the petition themselves.
  • However, generally, the individual is needed to have a petition filed by someone else.

What are the different eligibility categories of a permanent resident?

To be able to apply for a Green Card, the permanent resident has to see which category they fall under to take the application process ahead. Below mentioned are the classes of eligibility that an individual can fit in:

  • Green Card through family.
  • Green Card through employment.
  • Special immigrant Green Card.
  • Green Card through Refugee – Admitted refugee for a minimum of 1 year, and Green Card through Asylee – Asylum status given for a minimum of one year.
  • Green Card for a crime victim who has a U nonimmigrant visa currently, and a Green Card for a human trafficking victim who has a T nonimmigrant visa presently.
  • Green Card for abused victims.
  • Green Card through registry that permits a person to apply for a Green Card if the person has resided in the country since 1 January 1972.
  • Green Card through other categories.

Who can file a petition on behalf of the concerned individual?

In case one requires someone else to file a petition, the following forms need to be filled accordingly:

  • Petition for alien relative.
  • Petition for alien worker.
  • Petition for refugee or asylee relative.
  • Petition for Amerasian, widow or widower, or special immigrant.
  • Petition for alien entrepreneur.
  • Petition for the status of U nonimmigrant.

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