A Green Card, also known as a permanent residence permit or registration form I-551, allows you to live in the United States permanently. This is an immigrant type visa.
When you have this residence permit, you have certain rights in the United States. The most important right is the right to allow you to work legally. You can also study in the country. In addition, you can move around the country freely and travel outside of the US at your leisure.
In order to obtain your permanent residence permit, a long and complex procedure must be followed to the letter. You will also have to meet many criteria. One may take the services of Dygreencard to renew 2 year green card to a permanent 10 year green card. You can also contact us for getting work permit in the United States.
If you are facing this procedure for the first time, you may have difficulty understanding all the steps to follow. By purchasing our publication, you will discover the complete detailed step-by-step procedure to help you obtain your Green Card.
The different types of Green Card that exist
There is a general procedure to follow to obtain a permanent residence permit. There are also specific procedures depending on the type of Green Card you want to obtain. The criteria to be met are also different depending on how you plan to obtain your permanent residence permit.
Here are the different ways you can get a Green Card:
- By getting married.
- Thanks to your family members.
- For adopted children.
- Through the EB-5 investment program.
- As a student.
- For special immigrants.
- By participating in the DV lottery.
- Thanks to your employer.
- By asking for political asylum.
By consulting these different guides, you will discover the step by step procedure to be followed to obtain a permanent residence permit depending on the method chosen. You can also get the instruction manual on this page which will explain all the scenarios you may encounter.
It is important to follow the official procedure in effect at the time of your request. If you make mistakes during the procedure, you could be required to pay additional fees, to see the processing time of your request increase or in the most extreme cases, not to receive your Green Card.
General procedure for applying for a Green Card detailed step by step
The conditions to be met to obtain a permanent resident permit are different depending on the means you want to use to obtain your residence permit. There are similarities between the different procedures to follow but also some differences.
Here are the different steps to follow to obtain a Green Card. This procedure applies to almost all types of residence permits. In order to know the procedure for each particular case, do not hesitate to obtain our explanatory book.
- You will have to start by filling out a petition or a sponsorship form. A US citizen must sponsor or sponsor you in order to complete the form. In some cases, the sponsor may be a US citizen living abroad.
- When your petition is accepted, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) who will give you a number related to your case.
- To continue the procedure, you will then have to pay the processing fees. Without it, your procedure will be stopped and you will not be able to go to the next step.
- You will then need to provide various documents related to your immigrant visa, fill out forms and give information about your civility.
Documents to provide to obtain a Green Card
As a general rule, the documents to be provided to obtain your residence permit are as follows:
- Your passport.
- An affidavit of support, which is proof of support from your US sponsor.
- Photographs that meet the required criteria.
- Provide documents related to the civility of the applicant.
- Correctly complete medical examination forms.
Depending on the Green Card you are applying for, the required documents may be different. The complete list of documents required for each type of application is provided in our instructions for obtaining a permanent resident permit.
Interview to obtain a visa
When your file is complete, you will need to make an appointment to pass an immigration interview at an embassy or consulate.
It is important to make a good impression during this interview and to be able to answer any questions asked by the interviewer.
If you think you are not comfortable during such an interview, we invite you to consult our guide on the subject: How to pass an American immigration interview?
Immigration medical examination and vaccination
Before going for your interview, you must pass an immigration medical exam and be in good standing with certain vaccines.
To find out what this medical examination consists of, do not hesitate to consult our guide on the subject: Information on the US immigration medical examination.
The main purpose of this examination is to verify that you are not bringing dangerous diseases to the United States and also to provide you with adequate treatment if you have a disease that is difficult to treat in your country but is mild in the United States.
To enter the United States, you will also need to be in good standing with certain vaccines. Vaccination is important in order to guard against easily preventable diseases such as measles or chickenpox.
Maximum number of immigrant visa numbers available
For some categories of Green Card, you have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available before you can obtain your residence permit. As long as a number is not available, it will not be possible to obtain a residence permit.
When you are part of the immediate family, you should not wait for a number to become available. This type of Green Card is issued on a priority basis without having to wait for the availability of a number.
These are the people who are considered close family members by immigration authorities. In English, this category is called “immediate relative immigrant”:
- The husband or wife of a person with U.S. citizenship.
- Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a US citizen.
- An orphan adopted abroad by an American person.
- An orphan about to be adopted by an American citizen.
- Parents of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old.
If you belong to one of these categories, you do not need to wait for a visa number to become available to obtain your Green Card. Your request will be treated as a priority and the procedure will be faster.
Processing time for the procedure and checking the progress of your file
The processing time of the procedure may vary from one type of request to another. In addition, it also depends on the number of requests that USCIS currently has to process. Finally, it may also depend on which immigration laws have come into force or have been repealed.
If you want to know where the progress of your request is, we recommend that you consult our guide on the subject: How to check the progress of a procedure with the USCIS?
To find out how long it will take to process your file, we recommend that you take a look at our guide on the subject: Processing time for an immigration application in the United States.
To find a USCIS office near you, we recommend that you use the USCIS Geolocation Office tool provided by the official US government site USCIS.gov.
Ineligibility for permanent resident status
In certain situations, it may not be possible to obtain a Green Card. This can be the case in the following situations:
- The applicant has been involved in drug trafficking.
- The person stayed beyond the deadline listed in their previous visa in the United States.
- False documents were submitted to the American authorities in order to obtain a residence permit.
In the event of ineligibility, you will be informed by the consular officer. For some people, it is possible to withdraw this ineligibility status. If this may apply to your case, the consular officer will explain the procedure for you to be eligible for permanent resident status again.
Sometimes you may receive a lifetime ban from getting a Green Card. In this specific case, it will not be possible to become a US permanent resident.
Obtain a social security number
When you receive your Green Card, you may receive an American Social Security number with it. If this is the case, your social security card will be sent to the address listed in your immigration file approximately 6 weeks after you receive your Green Card.
You may also not get your Social Security number immediately. In such a situation, you will have to make a request to obtain one when you arrive in the United States.
For the procedure for obtaining a Social Security card, please see our guide on the subject: Obtaining a Social Security Number in the United States.
This number is important for several reasons, the most important of which is work. Indeed, some employers will only hire you if you have a social security number. It is therefore advisable to obtain this number as quickly as possible upon your arrival in the USA.