Understanding a “Green Card”- What it is and Why You Need One

by Whiteshark Media White Shark Media

If you want to come to the United States of America and live here permanently, you must become a citizen legally. In order to do so, you must obtain what is referred to as a “green card.” Let’s look at the basics:

What is a green card?

“Green card” is the unofficial nickname for the permit allowing immigrants to permanently live and work in this country. The official name of the green card is “Lawful Permanent Resident Card.” Immigrants who want to remain in the United States permanently, and legally, must obtain one. It is a major step in becoming a fully-fledged American citizen.

What changes when I have a green card?

Even though green card holders are not citizens, they are entitled to many of the rights that citizens enjoy. This person can legally work, receive government-sponsored benefits, and are afforded constitutional rights. After five years of legal permanent residence, most green card holders can qualify for U.S. citizenship, assuming they meet all the other requirements and have not gotten in legal trouble.

Do I really need one?

In one word- yes! You may say that your relative cannot wait and so they will come and live without one. A Seattle immigration lawyer will strongly advise against this. Coming here illegally will often result in deportation and will make it extremely difficult to apply for a green card after the fact, because an individual is essentially breaking the law by being here without one in the first place.

How quickly can I get a green card?

Many people want or need a green card, yet it can be a difficult and time consuming process to obtain one. Immigrants may end up having to wait years before a green card becomes available. A Top immigration lawyer in Seattle, WA can certainly help make it go quicker, but it will not be immediate, even with the best legal counsel.

How does being an immediate relative help?

Green cards may be difficult to come by, but some people have an easier and quicker time than others. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, “immediate relatives” are defined as the “children, spouses, and parents of a citizen of the United States.” If the immediate relative is a parent of a U.S. citizen, the citizen must be at least 21 years old. If the application is being made for a child, the child must be under 21 years of age and unmarried. There are other types of immediate relatives, including children born out of wedlock, adopted children, and step-children.

If this all seems confusing, take away two key points: (1) Obtaining a green card is the only way for an immigrant to live in the U.S. on a long-term basis and eventually become a citizen and (2) hiring the top immigration lawyer in Seattle, WA makes the entire process easier for you. Do not delay in starting the process!

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Created on Dec 20th 2019 01:27. Viewed 853 times.


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