We know: All About Green Cards

What's a Green Card?

Green card is the term generally used to mean a document issued by the U.S. government that means that you have obtained lawful, permanent residence (LPR) in the U.S. A 'green card' gives a person official immigration status.

Who Is eligible to apply for a green card or permanent residency?

You are eligible to apply for permanent residence if you:

  • Entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since entry;
  • Are a person of good moral character;
  • Are neither ineligible for citizenship, except for the requirement of five years of lawful permanent residence, nor inadmissible for participation in terrorist activities, certain criminal or security grounds, or for alien smuggling;
  • Never participated in Nazi persecutions or genocide;
  • Have no other way of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident.

How do I apply to be a permanent resident?

You must submit government form l-486 with filing fee, and form G-325A with evidence that you have continuously resided in the United States prior to January 1, 1972, to the immigration district office having jurisdiction over the place in which you live.

There is no appeal from the decision of the District Director but your application may be renewed in front of an Immigration Judge.

How do I get a work permit?

Applicants who are inside the United States and have filed form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) are eligible to apply for a work permit while their case is pending. You should use form I-765 to apply for a work permit.

You do not need to apply for a work permit once you are accorded permanent resident status. As a lawful permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will provide evidence that you have a right to live and work in the United States permanently.

Can anyone help me?

If you need advice, you can contact the immigration office near your home for a list of community-based, non-profit organization that may be able to assist you in applying for an immigration benefit.

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