People who look forward to staying permanently in the United States and making the country their permanent home will be granted Green Cards and there are a few different ways to immigrate to the United States.
Citizens of foreign countries can immigrate to America if their family members in the United States are willing to sponsor them. Similarly, if a US employer offers a foreign national a full-time job in the United States, the foreign national can immigrate to America if the employer sponsors him for a Green Card.
Citizens of other countries who are granted asylum or refugee status in America can obtain Green Cards if they are eligible. The Green Card lottery is another way through which foreign nationals can obtain United States Green Cards.
These processes are quite complicated and these processes include paperwork and interviews many foreign nationals wait for several years to immigrate to the United States after completing the required paperwork. That is because the country grants only a certain number of immigrant visas to foreign nationals every year.
However, you will soon become eligible for a US Green Card, if you get married to a US citizen. Similarly, you can get a Green Card sooner, if you have a US citizen spouse, parent, or child above 21, in the United States, who is willing to sponsor you for a US Green Card. In this case, your US citizen relative must file Form I-130, to sponsor you. Such immediate relatives need not wait for a long time to get Green Cards and Form I-130 filed on behalf of immediate relatives will be processed faster. Similarly, there is no limit in the number of visas issued in this particular category.
However, spouses of US citizens who are newly married will be issued two year Green Cards. USCIS issues two-year Green Cards to identify people who get married to obtain lawful status in the country. These cards cannot be renewed and the holder of a conditional card must file an application to remove conditions, along with her US citizen spouse. USCIS will not accept applications that are not filed jointly by both spouses. If the USCIS officers feel that the marriage is fraudulent, they will not grant lawful status to the conditional resident. However, if your relationship is genuine, you may apply to remove conditions on your conditional status along with your partner. If you are found to be eligible, USCIS will approve your petition and issue you a 10-year Green Card.
Waiting time varies and is different for different categories of relatives. Immediate relatives may not be required to wait for many years but other categories of relatives will have to wait for more than ten years to obtain Green Cards. Green Card lottery program will also help you to get a Green Card sooner. But citizens of all the countries are not eligible to take part in the DV lottery program.
Forms I-551 and I-90 both serve as green card applications, but understanding the differences between them helps permanent resident applicants achieve a smooth process.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers green cards through a couple of different application formats. Forms I-551 and I-90 both serve as green card applications, but understanding the differences between them helps applicants achieve a smooth process in establishing or maintaining permanent residency.
Form I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card is the document commonly referred to as a green card. The card, which is literally green in color, indicates federal approval for an immigrant to live and work in the United States. Job skills, family ties, investment and even a lottery are all possible avenues in building green card eligibility for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders.
Green cards and their permissions to live and work in the United States comes in two varieties: permanent and conditional. Permanent green card beneficiaries receive indefinite permission to live and work in the United States. Conditional green card holders– those who receive a green card through marriage to a U.S citizen– receive permissions for two years before reaching permanent green card eligibility.
While those who are initially applying for a green card do so with Form I-551, renewal or replacement of an existing green card requires the Form I-90 application.
Applicants with permanent Form I-551 permissions should file Form I-90 when their initial green cards need a replacement for one reason or another.
Conditional permanent residents seeking permanent legal residency will not file Form I-90.
Permanent legal residents replace or renew their green cards using Form I-90 when the original card is:
- Lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed
- Never received
- Issued with incorrect data due to USCIS administrative error
- Issued with information other than a legally changed name or other biographic information
- Expired or will expire within six months
- Due to expire after the recipient’s 16th birthday and the renewal filing is within 30 days of the 14th birthday
- Due to expire before the recipient’s 16th birthday and the renewal filing is within 30 days of the 14th birthday
USCIS also requires Form I-90 applications from green card recipients who:
- Takes up commuter status– working regularly in the United States while residing in Canada or Mexico
- Takes up U.S residency after status as a resident commuter
- Has been automatically converted to lawful permanent resident status
- Has an older edition of the card and must replace it with the current version
USCIS charges $455 for Form I-90 applications. This fee is waived under certain conditions, particularly in cases of USCIS error.