The Green Card, officially known as the Permanent Resident Card, is a document that allows you to live and work permanently in the United States. There are various methods of applying for a green card, including sponsoring by a family member, being a special immigrant, seeking refugee or asylee status, employment, victims of abuse and via the Green Card lottery.
Before applying for a green card, one has to ensure that they fulfill the criteria making them eligible for receiving the green card. In the case of applying for a green card through family, proof of being a relative, fiancée/fiancé, widow or widower of a legitimate US citizen would be required. Eligible individuals can then make the Green Card application online and receive filing instructions personalized according to their data.
The Green Card lottery is a well-known way of gaining permanent resident status in the United States. The lottery is provided through the Diversity Visa program, and allows citizens of poorly represented populations in the United States to easily gain permanent residence. 50,000 immigrant visas are available through the program.
The application for a green card involves having someone file an immigration petition for you. Once this goes through, one has to file the Green Card application with USCIS. An appointment for provision of biometric data (signature, fingerprints and photos) as well as for an interview will then be required. The decision on the application is communicated to the applicant after completion of these requirements. Permanent residents can apply for citizenship through naturalization after three years.