how to apply for your green card
A green card, or Permanent Resident Card, permits you to permanently live and work in the U.S. The exact steps you take depends on your situation. However, there are common things everyone needs to do to receive a green card.
Before applying for a green card, you must determine if you are eligible. Eligibility requirements will depend on what category you fit. The categories are:
How to Apply for Your Green Card
- Special immigrant
- Asylee status or refugee
- Human trafficking and crime victims
- Victims of abuse
- Green card through Registry
- Other categories
For example, you will apply for a green card online if your immediate relative is your spouse, an unmarried child under 21 years old or a parent of a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old. However, if you want a green card to work here, you would be in the employment category. This category has different requirements such as being the first preference immigrant worker. A first preference worker has extraordinary ability in areas like education, business or the arts.
Get Green Card Online Depends on Current Residence
How to apply for your green card will start by obtaining the correct document based on your eligibility category. Each category has a form such as Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The next step is based on whether you are currently living outside U.S. or not. If you are currently residing in the U.S., you may have to file the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). If you are in the county but do not have an approved petition, you will have to check to determine if you need to complete and file the form. If you are outside the U.S. at the time of filing, you getting a green card online will require going through the Consular Processing. The Consular Processing is done with the U.S. Department of State in your home country.
After those steps are determined, you must:
- Someone must file the petition on your behalf such as a sponsor.
- File a green card application if the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the petition.
- Attend your biometrics appointment. There you will provide your photographs, fingerprints, and signature.
- Attend your interview.
- Wait for your decision.
Renewing Your Green Card
A green card typically expires within 10 years. It is best to renew green card online within six months of it expiring. You can start renewing your permanent residence card by going online to get an E-Filling Form I-90. This is a form to replace your green card. There is also a paper version of the form. The green card renewal process also includes completing a green card online form I-551. If you are a conditional resident, you are required to file I-751. The latter is a petition to remove the conditions of your residence so you can renew your green card.