The Law Offices of Arnold van Dyk

Simple Facts About Green Cards In The Us

August 24, 2016

A permanent resident card commonly known as green card in the US is issued to foreign nationals by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. A green card authorizes the recipient to lawfully reside and engage in work inside the United States for an indefinite period of time. It is almost impossible to counterfeit a green card as it has holographic images and laser-engraved fingerprints. The earliest version of the permanent resident card was referred to as an alien registration receipt card which was first produced shortly after World War II.

Who Is Eligible For A Green Card?

The criteria of eligibility for a green card encompasses several categories of people including spouses of U.S. citizens, parents of U.S. citizens, workers with extraordinary ability in a specialized field such as science, arts, education, business or athletics, immigrants with refugee status or who have been granted asylum for a least a year, foreign investors that have invested or are in the process of investing at least $1 million in commercial enterprise that has the potential to create full-time positions for at least 10 employees and investors who have invested or are investing $500,000 in a targeted employment area. Another avenue for obtaining a green card is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program commonly referred to as the green card lottery. This process uses a random drawing to grant 50,000 green cards every year to pre-screened applicants from countries that have a low rate of immigration to the U.S.

The Pros And Cons Associated With A Green Card

Green card holders are allowed to live and work permanently in the United States as well as travel freely around the country. They can sponsor certain family members and even apply for their green cards. After spending a period of five years as a permanent resident, an immigrant can apply to become a US citizen. Green card holders are eligible for Social Security, retirement and tax benefits, insurance coverage as well as grants for research and education. They are also eligible to apply for financing of a house or car. The basic limitations are that green card holders are not allowed to run for elected office or vote in federal elections. They are also not allowed to serve on a jury.

Renewal Process For A Green Card

The validity of a green card is generally for a period of 10 years. Therefore the appropriate time period to apply for renewal of the green card is around 5 to 6 months from the expiration date of the card. Green card renewal applications must not be filed prior to 6 months from the expiration date as it is considered to be too early. Renewal applications that are filed too early may end up being rejected and returned to the applicant. However, the permanent resident status granted to an immigrant is not lost if the green card is not renewed. Nonetheless, the law does require all immigrants to hold valid permanent resident cards at all times. The cumulative fee charged for a green card renewal is $540 which includes an $85 biometrics fee and $455 application filing fee.

If you are a legal permanent resident and need to have your green card renewed or if you are an immigrant looking to apply for legal permanent resident status in the United States, it is advisable to contact an experienced and competent Coral Springs FL Immigration Lawyer to help you navigate through this complex process.

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Arnold van Dyk

About the Author

I am passionate about solving people's tax problems. Outside of work I enjoy reading, playing tennis, and traveling.

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