Permanent Residence Law

Green cards are permanent residents cards issued to immigrants in US. Known as Green Card because of its colour, it is issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It serves as a proof that the holder of the card has been granted immigration benefits. Since 2010, the card has an RFID chip.

Types of Immigration

A person may obtain the green card based on the below mentioned procedure:

  • Green Card through family
  • Green Card through asylum status or refugee
  • Green card through investment of more than 0.5 million USD
  • Employment backed green card
  • Diversity Lottery

There are also other ways to obtain a green card as per the federal laws.

Process to Get the Green Card

Usually it is a three step process as provided below:

  • Immigrant Petition: This is the step where the applicant’s application is approved by USCIS based on the merit and legal framework governing the process.
  • Availability of Immigrant Visa Number: In the second step, an immigrant visa number granted by National Visa centre should be available for the visa processing. This is not applicable for category “immediate relative”. It is to be noted that immigrant visa number may not be readily available and have a lengthy waiting period. The wait period also depends on the country of birth.
  • Immigrant Visa Adjudication: Once the immigrant visa number is available the applicant should apply to USCIS if in US or Department of State if not in US for adjusting the current status to permanent residency.

Though the process looks simple, it involves lot of paper work and application filing and scrutiny. Once the permanent residency is approved the green card is mailed to the last known mailing address.

Loss of Permanent Residence Status

An immigrant may abandon the status voluntarily by filing form I-407. The status is lost involuntarily in case of holder committing a criminal act which makes him removable from US or takes up permanent residency in other country or stays out of US for more than 365 days without taking re-entry permit before leaving.

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