Overview of the US Green Card Process

The green card process is the road to obtaining lawful permanent residence in the United States. A green card visa, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that allows individuals to live and work permanently in the U.S. If you are interested in applying for a green card, it is important to understand the basics of the application process. 

If you’re considering applying for a green card, or permanent residence in the United States, it can seem like an incredibly daunting process. Luckily, understanding the process doesn’t have to be difficult. A Green Card holder is said to be the luckiest one due to the limitless opportunities that awaited him. 

Is Valid Visa required?

A valid visa is required in order to travel to the United States. Without a visa, entry into the US is not allowed. There are several types of visas available depending on your purpose for traveling, and it’s important to understand which type of visa you need before applying. Let’s explore why you might need a US visa. 

Types of Green Cards

Immigrant visa – is based on a family relationship or employment offer from an American employer. This type of visa requires petitioning from a sponsor, usually either a family member or employer and can take several months or even years to process depending on your situation. 

Adjustment of status-allows foreign nationals who are currently living in the United States with valid visas to apply for permanent residency without having to leave the country and return with an immigrant visa. This option may be more appealing for many people because it does not require petitioning from a sponsor and can be processed relatively quickly compared to other types of visas.  

Green Card Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for either type of green card, there are certain criteria that must be met by applicants. 

To qualify for an immigrant visa:

applicants must have either a qualifying family relationship or employment offer from a U.S.-based employer; 
they must also prove that they have not committed any crimes that would disqualify them from entering the United States and that they do not pose any security risk within the country. 

For those applying for adjustment of status, applicants must already possess valid nonimmigrant visas and must demonstrate that they have been lawfully present in the U.S., among other requirements.  

Overview of what you need to know about how to obtain a green card: 

Determine your eligibility- There are several categories that might apply to your situation; these include family-based immigration, employer sponsorship, diversity lottery programs, and special immigrant categories.

Determined as an eligible person- Once you’ve determined which one applies to you, you can move on to the next step: filing an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The application process itself includes several steps such as: 

filing forms such as I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative); 
submitting evidence of your eligibility; attending interviews and biometrics appointments; 
and paying associated fees. 

You may also be required to take a medical exam depending on your circumstances. 

Once you’ve completed all of the necessary steps and submitted all required documents, USCIS will review your application and make a decision regarding your eligibility for a green card. 

It takes several months, so it’s important to be patient during this time period while waiting for USCIS to make their determination. If approved, you will receive a written notification from USCIS with instructions on how to obtain your actual physical green card in the mail. 


There are many reasons why someone may want to obtain a US Visa, including the following:

– To visit family or friends

– To conduct business

– To study at an American university

– To get medical treatment in the United States


Here is the reason why obtaining the US Visa is important 
There are many reasons why it is important for a person to obtain a US visa before traveling to the United States. One of the most important reasons is that a visa allows a foreign national to travel to the United States and apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry. Admission into the United States is not guaranteed, even if a visa is issued, and DHS may deny admission to any person arriving at a U.S. port of entry.

Tips for Successful Applications 

When applying for a green card, there are several key tips that can help ensure success with your application: 

Carefully review all instructions before submitting any forms; incorrect or incomplete paperwork can lead to delays in processing time or rejection altogether. 
Gather all necessary documents ahead of time; having everything ready before submitting your application reduces stress and helps ensure accuracy when filing paperwork.
Follow up with USCIS periodically; this allows you to stay informed about what stage your application is at and if there are any additional documents needed from you during the process.  
The lifespan of a Green Card is 10 years
The reason why green cards last for 10 years is that it is a way to control immigration into the United States. The government wants to make sure that people who are given green cards are actually going to stay in the country for a long period of time and contribute to society. Making the green card valid for 10 years gives people enough time to establish themselves in the United States and prove that they are worthy of staying in the country permanently


The Green Card process can seem overwhelming at first but with proper research and preparation, it is possible to successfully obtain a Green Card in order to live and work legally in the United States permanently. It’s important to understand all of the eligibility requirements for each category of applicants as well as understanding what documents are required when filing forms with USCIS; consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help make sure everything is done correctly throughout the entire process in order to increase the chances of success when applying for a US green card. Good luck with your journey toward becoming a lawful permanent resident!


Applying for a green card can be daunting but following through with each step carefully and accurately can greatly increase your chances of success. Reviewing instructions prior to submitting forms and gathering necessary documents ahead of time are two key tips that should not be overlooked when it comes to preparing for the green card process!