What is a US Green Card

There are so much information about Green Card nowadays. The description usually written by official representatives and that is why people have troubles with understanding what is Green Card means indeed. We decided to tell you about it at the most possible easiest way.

Green Card Renewal

Green Card Renewal



  • Video — What is Green Card in US and Immigration?
  • Why do you need the American Green Card?
  • What the law says?
  • What you get as a holder of US green card?

There is so much information about Green Card nowadays. The description usually written by official representatives and that is why people have troubles with understanding what is Green Card means indeed. We decided to tell you about it in the most possible easiest way.

The official definition of Green Card USA is a permit issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that allow people to live, study, pay taxes and work in the United States on a permanent basis. “Green card” is an informal term for the United States Permanent Resident Card.

People often ask why it called “Green”? Here is some piece of American history of the documents. The identification cards were printed on green special layout paper from 1946 until 1964 and the green color for the plastic cards returned in May 2010. The modern type of the green card was introduced and features security technologies such as holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, high-resolution micro-images, and radio frequency identification. This allows securing all the data of the owner of the card.

The Green cards were not always printed in green color. The view of it had a lot of changes through years in America. The storyline of the green card printings is is multicolored.

The first green card appeared not a long time after second World War. Congress enacted the Alien Registration Act of 1940, which required foreign-born persons 14 years of age and older to report to a United States post office to make fingerprints and register their presence in the United States.

Permanent residents of the United States who are 18 years old or older are required to carry a plastic green card at all times to avoid being in violation of Section 264(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

When people immigrate to the American States, it is extremely important to get a Green card so they can get the official job. Alien registration card issued by the American authorities of immigration to those people who are not allowed to live and work in the States for an indefinite period of the time. Without a green card, almost all immigrants will find it extremely difficult to find a job that pays a competitive rate. Moreover it, the immigrants with no special restrictions also break the laws of States. Besides, the green card holders can pay taxes, get official insurance and have the rights as residents of the country. Some people think they can find a job without registration or documents such as US green card and social security number, earn money without paying taxes. That’s right, but it is illegal and if you do so, you can be deported to your mother country, get to prison or even get the forfeit from the government. To avoid such situations, you need to get the green card which will give some privilege to it holder.

United States lawful permanent residency, informally known as a green card, is the immigration status of a person authorized to live and work in the United States of America permanently. Green cards have a validation period of ten years for permanent residents, and two years for conditional holders of the cards. After this period, the card needs to renew or replaced. The application process can take several years. An immigrant usually has to go through a three-step process to get permanent residency that includes petition and processing.

Individuals can be eligible for US green card status through family, a job, refugee or asylee status, or through a variety of special adjustment programs. The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes a certain number of diversity visas available each year. There is one more way to get your green card it calls “green card lottery” and it selects individuals to become permanent residents of the United States out of a pool of more than 10 million applicants around the world. The applicants are not required to possess any special qualification or be sponsored by family members. Instead of it, each of them must come from a country that has low rates of immigration to the United States of America. No single country can win more than 7% of the total number of this type of visas.

Green cards were formerly issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107–296, 116 Stat. 2135) dismantled INS and separated the former agency into three components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The first, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), handles applications for immigration benefits. Two other agencies were created to oversee the INS’s former functions of immigration enforcement: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), respectively.

Permanent residents of the United States eighteen years of age or older must carry their actual green card at all times. Failing to do so is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, carrying the chance to get a fine up to $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days for each crime. Only the federal government can impose these penalties.

Cards issued between January 1977 and August 1989 do not have document numbers or expiration dates and are valid indefinitely.

  • The green card proves that its holder, a lawful permanent resident, has been officially granted immigration benefits as standard citizens who was born in States, including permission to reside and take official job positions in the United States.
  • The freedom to work, study, travel and live in the US permanently.
  • With a Green card, you can live and work in the US permanently. You can take any jobs you wish in the US, including many types of government work such as congressman or deputy.
  • Freedom of movement. If you are a Green card holder, you can travel outside of the US and come back with no limits. You can also travel anywhere within the United States you wish and live in any part of America you wish. You choose what state to stay at.
  • The ability to be a sponsor for your relatives. If you are a US Green card holder, you can sponsor your relatives to get their own Green card.
  • The ability to ask for US citizenship. Once you have had your US Green card for five years, you may qualify to apply for US citizenship for a regular basis, which will give you the right to vote on election days.
  • Legal rights which include: social benefits, including researching grants for your studies or inventions, taxation benefits, insurance coverage, social security benefits, state sponsorship in education, research, retirement benefits, and health benefits.
  • With a US Green card, you can also own guns of different types and systems, a house, cars, and other property in the US and even secure financing for these purchases.
  • You can ask about credits in the banks.

Now feel free to comment ask any question about this theme. We would be happy to see your opinion and surrounding stories about the stuff from the article. In case if you want to share your story – tell us. It will definitely complete the information here and be useful for the readers around the world.


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