Is there a difference between a green card and a permanent resident card?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2022 | Family Immigration

Visas help people legally enter the United States of America. There are immigrant visas as well as non-immigrant visas for those who intend to work or study in the United States. However, visas come with an expiration date. Although you can renew them, that will mean paperwork every few years.

Becoming a permanent resident is a goal for many people who want to travel to or live in the United States. It is an important step on the path to naturalized citizenship and useful even if you intend to remain a foreign national.

Getting a green card can be a way to guarantee that you can live in the United States indefinitely and even help your family enter the country as well. Is there any significant difference between a green card and a permanent resident card?

The USCIS grants green cards for many situations

When people talk about a green card, they are using a descriptive term to refer to the appearance of a permanent resident card granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A green card is a permanent resident card and vice versa.

That being said, there are different situations that make people eligible for green cards, which may be one of the sources of confusion. People can qualify for green cards after entering the country for family circumstances or work. They can also obtain green cards as refugees or victims of crime.

Qualifying for a green card is only the first step

Recognizing that you qualify to become a permanent resident is only the first step in the process. You will need to submit documentation to the USCIS. Getting a green card is not an automatic process. Even though you have already had to undergo a background check to get a visa, additional vetting is necessary when you apply to become a permanent resident.

If the USCIS adjusts your status and allows you to stay permanently, you will have more opportunities while living in the United States, as well as more stability. Another benefit of becoming a permanent resident is access to more immigration programs for your closest family members. Learning more about green cards can help you make use of these powerful immigration tools.



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