Many people who live in other countries want to come and live in the United States. Whether it is for work, to be with a loved one or to experience a better life, there are different avenues a person needs to take to be able to legally reside in the country.
For some people, the way to become a permanent resident is with a Green Card.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a person must meet the requirements of one of the eligibility categories. Common reasons are to live with a spouse, fiancé or family member and for employment reasons. A person can apply for a Green Card as a special immigrant, which may include a religious worker, International broadcaster or NATO family member or employee.
Refugees and asylees may apply for a Green Card. There are also categories for those who are victims of abuse, crime or human trafficking. Examples of other categories are:
- Cuban Adjustment Act
- Lautenberg parolee
- Diversity immigrant visa program
- American Indian born in Canada
- Person born in the U.S. to a foreign diplomat
- Indochinese Parole Adjustment Act of 2000
According to the USA Government, an eligible individual must take the appropriate steps to apply for a Green Card. The first step is to fill out Form I-485 and file it, along with the application fee and all supporting documents, with the USCIS. After reviewing the application, the department will schedule an interview with the applicant.
If issued, a Green Card is valid for 10 years, and the renewal process should begin within six months of the expiration date.