A major step in achieving the American is getting that valuable document: the permanent residence card, or green card.
The green card provides three important rights to immigrants who have it:
- Live permanently in the United States provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable under immigration law
- Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for security reasons)
- Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions
The following guide, based on official information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and other government resources, offers a broad look at the different requirements for immigrants who want to obtain and maintain a green card.
HOW TO OBTAIN A GREEN CARD
USCIS says applicants must complete at least two forms, an immigrant petition and a Green Card application (Form I-485).
But first they must qualify under at least one of the eight following categories:
▪ Special Immigrant
▪ Refugee or Asylee Status
▪ Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
▪ Victims of Abuse