The United States is a cultural melting pot where countless people from different cultures come together. The globalization of our world contributes greatly to us coming together and meeting people we never could have met before. However, this ease of travel also creates friction between families who may live in separate countries. That is why many people will attempt to reunite with their families by becoming permanent residents of a certain country. Here’s what it takes to do that.
A permanent residence card is more commonly known as a green card, and there are many ways to obtain one. Often, people don’t know or aren’t aware that there are considerate differences between a permanent residence and US citizenship. A permanent resident does not have the same rights as a citizen of the United States. The most significant difference is that permanent residents can face deportation and cannot vote.
The first step to becoming a permanent resident is to check your eligibility. There are many categories for eligibility, but most people become eligible because they have a family member who is already a permanent resident and can sponsor them. Another common option is to become eligible through marriage to a US citizen. You can also receive an employment-based green card from an employer who petitions for you to work in the US.
Once you know you are eligible, you can fill out your application to register as a permanent resident by completing an I-485 form. This form will also require several forms of documentation and fees. This documentation includes but is not limited to a birth certificate and photo identification. A USCIS officer then reviews your form and schedules an interview, which will hopefully culminate in the approval of your permanent residence status.
A permanent resident card grants you the right to permanently live and work in the United States. And while the application process may seem straightforward, that is not always the case. The timeline for receiving a card can take several months, and that length of time has increased in recent years due to backlogs. Moreover, the length of time it takes to receive a permanent resident card can also depend upon several factors, including your country of origin and visa application type.