History of the Green Card

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History of the Green Card

Know the History of the Green Card

The Green Card is the most important document for anyone who wishes to permanently reside in the United States. Here, you can find out more information about the Green Card – who needs it, what privileges it gives you, and why it's not the same as a US Visa.

Who needs a green card?

Green Card is the name that was given to the permit. The permit allows immigrants from other countries to permanently live and work in the United States of America. Green Card is just the nickname that the general public normally uses however it's officially known as a "Lawful Permanent Resident Card".

When an immigrant is granted a Green Card, it acts as an official government document that indicates the holder's status to not only live permanently in the USA, but also be legally employed there. As such, people who hold the Green Card are referred to as Permanent Residents.

If you have a Green Card, you are allowed to live and work in the USA, and you can stay here as long you want. So, for anyone who wishes to relocate to the United States, owning a Green Card is a basic requirement. If you have visited the USA and have overstayed your visa, or if you have moved to the country illegally, the only way to become a Permanent Resident is to own a Green Card.

There are many people all over the world who wish to move to the USA, so every year, more than a million Green Cards are issued by the US Government. Usually, family members (from other countries) of U.S. citizens and current Green Card holders are given priority. The Government also issue many Green Cards to workers from other countries, that is, foreigners who are looking for employment in the United States. Not to forget one of the easiest ways to get a Green Card is still by applying for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery where 50.000 Green Cards are issued each year to low immigrant countries all over the world.

Is a Green Card and a US Visa the same?

The simple answer is no. A Green Card and US Visa are not the same.

The main difference between a Green Card and a Visa is the duration for which the permit allows you to stay in the country. While a visa is just a temporary permit that allows you to visit the U.S. and stay there for a specific period of time, a Green Card is a permit that allows you to stay in the USA for as long as you like.

A Green Card holder is a Permanent Resident and as such, the permit does not have an expiry date unlike visas, which last for several months or years, after which you have to go back to your home country. However you do need to renew your Green card every 10 years. Most Green Card holders will never renew their green card, because they may apply for naturalization long before the ten year validity period expires. Also there is no limit to the number of times you can renew your Green Card

What are the privileges a Green Card holder can enjoy?

Anyone who holds a valid Green Card is a Permanent Resident of United States, as such, is granted legal rights to live and work permanently in the United States. Just like any other citizen, a person with a Green Card can receive health, education and other benefits.

A person with a student or work visa, or any other non-immigrant visa is dependent on the purpose of their stay in the U.S. However, if you have a Green Card, you don't have to worry about your purpose as such as the permit grants you complete freedom. Your stay in the country is not tied to your purpose, So, if you have a Green Card you are free to choose where you work and where you live in the States without any limitations and restrictions.

Why isn't the Green Card Green?

As stated earlier, Green Card is just a nick name and not the official name of the card. These permits got their nickname because from 1946 to 1964, they were green in colour. Then, they changed to blue, pink, and yellow and in 2010, they were made green again. Despite the change in colour from 1964 to 2010, the nickname has persisted till today.

For more information on how to obtain a Green Card so you can legally work, live or study in United States you are welcome to contact our support or submit your application online.

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