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Green Card Application Instructions

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Download information package with instructions to access and file Green Card application forms.


Green Card Application

Green Card Application Information and Instructions

How to Apply for a United States Green Card or Permanent Resident Card?

Format: Instant Download

U.S. Legal Permanent Resident Application (green card application)

The green card is also known as legal permanent residence (LPR), immigrant visa, Alien Registration Card, Lawful permanent resident "LPR" card, or USCIS Form I-551, among other common names for the status as a green card holder. The legal permanent resident status with a green card allows you to live permanently in the United States with many rights and responsibilities, including the legal right to work and study in the United States. The Application for a Green Card or Lawful Permanent Residence is a complex multi-step process. There are several immigration categories and ways to obtain a green card but also several requirements, procedures, application fees, and green card application forms to file.  In general, when applying for permanent residence the green card applicant must submit support documentation to prove eligibility to apply for a green card, and file a few application forms or petitions in order to complete the green card application process.

There are several routes to be eligible to apply for a green card, there are several immigration categories and laws that provide opportunity for applicants to receive a green card. However, the application process may be complicated and it may be difficult to find all the proper application information. The green card application guide has been prepared to help green card applicants to understand the complete application process and to receive information about all the main categories and routes to apply for a green card. This guide includes eligibility information to apply for a green card, access to green card application forms, forms instructions, contact information and filing instructions, requirements, procedures, and all the required information has been compiled into a complete and extensive application and information package, to help applicants to understand and start their green card application process. This application package explains in detail the application process, but in a simplified way in order to make the application process easy to understand. Green card applicants can order this application guide to start their green card application or to follow up on a pending application.

Common Routes to Apply for a Green Card:

  • Green card application through Family-Based petitions from American Spouse (husband or wife)
  • Green card through Family-Based petition from American Family Relatives (father, mother, spouse, brother, sister, children)
  • Green card through a U.S. Employer
  • Green card through Self-Petition
  • Green card through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the DV Green Card Lottery
  • Green card through Investment in the (EB-5) Program for Entrepreneur Investors.
  • Green card through Asylum Refugee Status
  • Green card as a Special Immigrant
  • Religious workers, Cuban Citizens, Haitian Refugee, American Indians Born in Canada, Amerasian Child of a U.S. citizen
  • Children Born to Foreign Diplomats in the United States
  • Green card through Special Job Categories
  • Green card through Special Family Categories

Application Process for Legal Permanent Residency (LPR)

This application package explains in detail how to apply for a green card. The following are the main steps for the complete green card application process:

1. Petition

The American sponsor files a petition. In some cases the green card applicant can self-petition without a sponsor.

2. Wait for a Visa Number to Become Available

After the immigrant Petition has been approved by the USCIS, then the National Visa Center assigns a visa number to the green card application case. Due to numeric visa limitations and caps, the visa number might take a long time to become available. Immediate relatives like spouse, parents and underage and unmarried children of American citizens don't have to wait for a visa number; therefore their processing time is much faster compared to other immigrant categories.

3. Adjust Status in the U.S., or Consular Processing at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate Abroad

When a visa number becomes available, then the National Visa Center notifies the green card applicant of the following steps to apply. The green card applicant may adjust status from a non-immigrant visa into a permanent resident status while physically present in the U.S., or in some cases it may be required to apply for an immigrant visa using consular processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. After an immigrant visa has been approved and stamped in the applicant passport, then the new immigrant may travel to the U.S. and obtain a green card.

Green Card Derivatives

With most green card application petitions, the applicant’s derivatives (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) may be included on the immigration petition and be eligible to receive a green card as derivatives of the main green card applicant.

Green Card Application Forms that can be found using the Green Card Application Package:

  • Petition for Alien Relative
  • Petition for Immigrant Worker
  • Petition by Alien Entrepreneur Investor
  • Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
  • E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Poverty Guidelines
  • Biographic Information
  • Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Act
  • Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
  • E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative
  • Application for Immigrant Visa
  • Diversity Visa Program DV-Lottery Official Online Applicant Entry System (AEC)
  • Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
  • Choice of Address and Agent
  • Pending Case Status forms
  • Change of Address
  • Forms Instructions and additional resources

This page can be found at: https://www.immigrationunitedstates.org/products/green-card-application.html

Application Instructions and FAQs Included in the Green Card Application Package:

  • What is a green card or a Lawful Permanent Resident card?
  • How to apply for a green card?
  • How to obtain a green card?
  • Green card petition
  • Waiting for an immigrant visa number to become available
  • Application for an immigrant visa
  • Green card application forms
  • Instructions for green card application forms
  • Different ways to apply for a green card?
  • Description of the main ways to become a U.S. Permanent Resident
  • Adjustment of status to become a legal permanent resident (LPR)
  • Consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa
  • List of USCIS offices and contact information in the U.S.
  • List of USCIS international offices abroad
  • List and contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad
  • Explanation of the difference between a conditional green card and a non-conditional green card
  • Which green cards are issued with conditions?
  • How to remove conditions on a green card?
  • What type of green card forms to file
  • How to access official forms and instructions
  • General information about how to apply for a green card
  • Green card application process through marriage
  • Green card application process through relatives
  • Self-petition for a green card if citizen spouse died
  • Green card application process through investment
  • Green card application process through employment
  • Green card application process as a special immigrant
  • Green card application through Asylum Refugee
  • Green card as a Special Immigrant
  • Green card application for Religious workers
  • Green card application instructions for Cuban citizens
  • Green card application for American Indians Born in Canada
  • Green card application for Amerasian Child of a U.S. citizen
  • Green card application for children born to foreign diplomats in the United States
  • Green card for students
  • Green card lottery application
  • Green card lottery entry status check
  • Green card affidavit of support
  • Family relative eligible to receive derivative green cards
  • Green card processing time
  • How to check the case status of my pending green card petition or green card application
  • How to notify the USCIS of a change of address for green card holders
  • How to request employment authorization
  • Advance parole to travel while green card application is in process
  • Immigration benefits and green card processing for military personnel and their relatives
  • Information about extended travel abroad with a green card and the green card reentry permit
  • Waiting time and requirements for green card holders to apply for U.S. citizenship
  • Information about dual citizenship
  • How to contact immigration attorneys

Order the green card application package for step by step instructions on how to apply for a green card, including instructions to access and file permanent residence application forms.

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