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How To Get a Green Card In United States? Application, Status Check & Types

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To become a permanent resident of the United States, a citizen of another country must have a green card. A green card is also called a permanent resident card. With a Green Card, a person acquires the status of a permanent resident of America. This card allows non-citizens to live and work (legally) anywhere in the United States. After three or five years of holding a green card, the person becomes eligible for US citizenship. In this blog, we will learn about: What Is A Green Card, How To Get A Green Card, Green Card Application, Green Card Lottery, Check Green Card Status, Green Card Renewal, and Green Card Renewal Fee.

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How To Get A Green Card

To live and work permanently in the US, you must have a permanent resident card (green card). Here are seven ways to get your green card in the United States.

1. By Marriage

To be eligible to obtain a green card in this manner, the foreign national must be sponsored by an immediate relative who is at least 21 years of age and either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Marriage is a common way to get a green card, but the marriage must be genuine. The purpose of marriage should not be only to get a green card.

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2. Investment

Through the EB-5 Direct Investor Program, foreign investors can obtain green cards by investing at least $500,000 in their businesses. But, the condition is that such a business should generate ten new jobs. However, this investment program is temporary, and the required amount can be increased to $900,000.

3. Transfer

If a company sends any employees to America for work, they can get a green card. For this, the employer must be an American employer. The petitioner must have been doing business as a legal entity in the US for at least one year. It doesn’t require labor certification, so getting a green card is straightforward.

4. Study

The best way to get a green card is to get a student visa to study in a US college for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This will entitle you to a one-year postgraduate work permit called Optional Practical Training. After one year, you can apply for an H1B work visa. Then, apply for labor certification from the Department of Labor. Then, apply for a green card through the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However, this is quite a long process.

5. H1B Work Visa

Apply for an H1B work visa and then get a green card through labor certification, or apply for an EB-2 extraordinary worker green card based on a national interest waiver.

6. Award

Achieve something that will earn you a green card. For this, we can see the examples of Drake and Ryan Reynolds. Green cards are available to individuals who have won internationally recognized awards such as the Oscars, Grammy, or Pulitzer Prizes. Generally, applicants with such exceptional qualifications are celebrities in their field.

7. Green Card Lottery

Apply for a Green Card under the annual Diversity Green Card Lottery. In the Green Card Lottery, 55,000 applicants are selected to apply to come to the US. These applications come from countries that are underrepresented in immigrants coming to the United States, such as Estonia, Fiji, or Ukraine.

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Green Card Application

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The green card application process varies depending on whether you apply from within or outside the United States. For this reason, there are two green card application forms:

Green Card Application (from within the US): Form I-485 (Application to Adjust Status). This form is used by people already in the US on a non-immigrant visa. Such applicants have been selected for a diversity visa or are eligible through family or employment.

Green Card Application : Form I-485 Sample

Green card application (outside the US): Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application). This form is used by people who wish to obtain an immigrant visa from abroad through family, employer sponsorship, or the diversity visa program.

Green Card Lottery Or Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The United States issues 50,000 immigrant visas annually through the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program. Through this program, people who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States are selected. The DV program is administered by the US Department of State (DOS).

Most Green Card Lottery winners live outside the United States and immigrate through consular processing and issuance of immigrant visas. To learn more, visit the US State Department website.

How To Check Green Card Status

Online: Use the Case Status online tool to check the status of your immigration case. You will need the 13-character receipt number written on your application or petition.

By phone: If you’re in the US, then by calling from the US, you can check your Green Card Status by contacting the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or TTY 1-800-767-1833. If you are in the U.S. or outside the U.S., call 212-620-3418 or contact the USCIS International Regional Office.

Green Card Renewal

A person whose 10-year Green Card has expired or is about to expire within six months must get a Green Card Renewal done. Green card renewal typically has a 4-step process. We have discussed Green Card Renewal in more detail below:

How to Renew Your Green Card

  • Apply for renewal online or by mail.
  • Gather all required documents.
  • Pay the fee.
  • Submit your application and wait for the new green card to be issued.

Let us tell you that the expiry of the green card does not mean that you are no longer a legal US permanent resident. Unless you commit a crime that would cause you to be deported or live abroad for too long, you will remain a lawful U.S. permanent resident. Renewing a green card gets you the latest version. Green card design changes.

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How Much Is the Green Card Renewal Fee?

The fee to renew a green card is $540. This includes a $455 filing fee and an $85 biometrics fee (for your fingerprints, photo, and signature). Persons applying for fee waiver do not have to pay this fee.

How to Pay Your Green Card Renewal Fee(s)

Online: After filling out Form I-90 online, you can go to pay.gov to make a credit card payment.

By Mail: You can pay by money order, check, or cashier’s check to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Or pay by credit card using Form G-1450 (officially called “Authorization for Credit Card Transactions”).

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