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Green Card (permanent resident card)

A green card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card in the United States, is a government-issued document that serves as evidence of an individual's lawful permanent residency (LPR) status in the United States. It is often called a "green card" because the older versions of the card were green in color, although the design has changed over the years.

Here are some key points about the green card:

  1. Legal Status: Holding a green card means that the person is allowed to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. It is one of the steps on the path to becoming a U.S. citizen.

  2. Rights and Privileges: Green card holders have many of the same rights and privileges as U.S. citizens. They can work for any employer in the U.S., travel in and out of the country more freely, and are protected by U.S. laws.

  3. Responsibilities: Green card holders are also required to follow U.S. laws and pay U.S. taxes. They must also register for the Selective Service (if applicable) and carry their green cards with them at all times as proof of their legal status.

  4. Renewal: Green cards have an expiration date, and they usually need to be renewed every 10 years. However, the LPR status is generally considered permanent unless it is revoked for certain reasons, such as committing serious crimes or abandoning U.S. residency.

  5. Eligibility: Green cards can be obtained through various means, such as family-sponsored petitions, employment-based petitions, refugee/asylee status, and the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery program.

  6. Path to Citizenship: Many green card holders eventually seek to become U.S. citizens through a process called naturalization. After a certain number of years as a green card holder (typically 5 years, but it can be shorter for spouses of U.S. citizens), they can apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet the requirements. 

Green cards are an important immigration status in the United States, as they provide a pathway to long-term residency and potential citizenship for foreign nationals who meet the eligibility criteria. It's important to note that the rules and regulations regarding green cards can change over time, so it's advisable to consult with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date information and guidance on obtaining and maintaining a green card.

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