- Applying for a Green Card
- Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card
- What to Do If Your Green Card is Lost or Stolen
- Applying for a Green Card for a Child
- Applying for a Green Card for a Spouse
- Applying for a Green Card for a Parent
- Applying for a Green Card for a Sibling
- Applying for a Green Card for a Family Member
- Applying for a Green Card for a Non-Family Member
- Applying for a Green Card for a Special Immigrant
A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a Green Card holder is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.”
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Applying for a Green Card
You may apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) through a family member or employer, or if you have been granted asylum or refugee status. To apply for a Green Card, you will need to complete an I-485 form and submit it to USCIS. If you are outside the United States, you will need to complete an I-130 form and submit it to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country.
Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card
If you are a permanent resident (green card holder), you may travel outside the United States for pleasure or business and return as long as you have your valid, unexpired green card with you. If you plan to be outside the United States for more than one year, you must apply for a reentry permit on Form I-131 before leaving the country. A reentry permit allows you to apply for admission to the United States without a green card if it is still valid when you try to come back. You should apply for a reentry permit if:
-You will be traveling outside the United States for more than one year but less than two years; or
-You need proof that you maintained your permanent resident status while outside the United States
What to Do If Your Green Card is Lost or Stolen
If you are a permanent resident or conditional permanent resident and your Green Card is lost or stolen, you should report the loss or theft to the local police immediately and get a copy of the police report.
You should also contact United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as soon as possible to report the loss or theft of your Green Card. You will need to complete and submit Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. For more information, see our Replacing a Lost or Stolen Green Card page.
You may also need to get a new passport if your Green Card was also your travel document. For more information on replacing a lost or stolen passport, please see our Replacing a Lost or Stolen Passport page
Applying for a Green Card for a Child
To apply for a Green Card for a child, you will need to complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If the child is under 21 and unmarried, he or she can be included on your petition. In addition, you will need to provide evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, proof of your relationship to the child, and proof that you can provide for the child financially. The child must also have a medical exam and vaccinations as required by U.S. law.
You may also need to provide evidence that you have maintained lawful status in the United States since your last entry into the country. If you are applying for a Green Card for a stepchild, you will need to show that the marriage between you and the child’s parent took place before the child turned 18.
Applying for a Green Card for a Spouse
Applying for a Green Card for a Spouse
The easiest way to get a green card is through family sponsorship. If you are married to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, they can sponsor you for a green card. The process usually takes around 10-13 months from start to finish.
To apply for a green card as the spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, you will need to complete the following steps:
1. File an immigrant petition (Form I-130) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your spouse must file this petition on your behalf.
2. Once the USCIS approves the petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will then send you instructions on how to proceed with your application.
3. Pay the necessary fees and submit the required documentation, including proof of your relationship to your spouse as well as evidence that you are eligible for a green card (such as birth certificates and passport photos).
4. Schedule an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. At this interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are eligible for a green card and, if so, issue it to you on the spot. If you are not issued a green card at this interview, you may appeal the decision or reapply at a later date
Applying for a Green Card for a Parent
If you are a permanent resident of the United States (commonly referred to as a “green card holder”), you may petition for certain relatives to come and live permanently in the United States with you. This is commonly known as applying for a “green card” for a family member.
One such relative is a parent. You may be eligible to apply for a green card for your parent if you meet certain requirements. Specifically, you must be at least 21 years of age and be able to prove that you can support your parent financially. In addition, your parent must be admissible to the United States, which means that he or she does not have any criminal convictions or other serious problems that would make him or her ineligible for a green card.
If you meet these requirements, you will need to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition will need to include evidence of your relationship to your parent, as well as proof that you can support him or her financially. Once the petition is approved, your parent will need to go through an interview process with a USCIS officer. If everything goes well, your parent will be granted a green card and will be able to live permanently in the United States with you.
Applying for a Green Card for a Sibling
If you have a green card and wish to apply for a sibling to also receive one, there are a few travel requirements that you need to be aware of. First, your sibling must be eligible for a green card. Second, you must be able to prove that you can support your sibling financially. Finally, your sibling must undergo a medical examination.
Applying for a Green Card for a Family Member
When you sponsor a family member’s application for a green card (a process called “adjustment of status”), you are required to fill out an Affidavit of Support. You will also have to provide proof of your U.S. citizenship or green card, evidence of your relationship to the person you’re sponsoring, and proof that you have enough income to support your relative(s) when they come to live with you in the United States.
Applying for a Green Card for a Non-Family Member
If you want to apply for a Green Card for a non-family member, you must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is at least 21 years old. In addition, the sponsor must have a close relationship to you. For example, the sponsor could be your spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, first cousin, or son- or daughter-in-law.
Applying for a Green Card for a Special Immigrant
If you want to apply for a Green Card (permanent residence) based on your status as a special immigrant, you should start the process by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.
You will need to go through an interview process and provide various documents, including:
-A copy of your entry document (such as a visa or advance parole document)
-Two passport-style photographs
-Evidence to show that you meet the definition of a special immigrant category