Green Card Process
Green card process, in most cases, is a complex and lengthy process. Green card is a permanent resident card that allows you to stay and work permanently in the United States. Even though the card has changed its color several times (starting from green and being white, pink, and again green), the term green card is used because it used to be green in color originally.

There are many benefits of the green card.

There are several different ways to get the green card. Depending upon the route, the actual green card process may vary. Following are the ways the person may get a green card:
Green Card Process Steps
Even though the actual steps in the green card process may vary, the following are the overall high level steps in the green card process.
  • Immigrant Petition: Either an employer, relative or in some cases the applicant files an immigration petition for the beneficiary. e.g., I-140 is filed for employment based immigration while I-130 is filed for family based immigration.

  • Immigrant Visa Availability: As there are quotas and restrictions in most categories of green card, a person is not immediately able to get the green card after the immigrant petition is completed. After the immigrant petition is approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center.

  • Adjudication: Once the immigrant visa number is available, that is the priority date is current, the person can adjust their status to permanent resident if he/she is already in the U.S., or if the person is outside the U.S., he/she can apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate that has the jurisdiction over his/her residence.

Depending upon the actual route taken, the green card process may involve extra steps. Please look the description of each type of green card process for accurate information.

Process After the Green Card
After the person has received the green card, there are many restrictions and obligations. If they are not fulfilled, the person may lose the green card status and may even be deported from the U.S.

You must take precautions to retain green card. A green card is for permanently living in the U.S. If you are planning to be outside the U.S. for a long time, you must first apply for Re-Entry Permit.