When a non-U.S. citizen has been authorized the live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, he or she has become a lawful permanent resident. He or she is expected to carry a Permanent Resident Card at all times. That is a tiny document with a history.
At one time such documents were called Alien Registration cards or Alien Registration Receipt cards. Between 1946 and 1964, the card’s color was green; thus it received the informal name of “green card.” Since May of 2010, the card’s color has again become identified with the hue that is emitted by the topmost traffic light Ki Residences.
A lawful permanent resident is required to live in the United States for at least six months of each calendar year. A green card-holder can lose his or her residency status by leaving the U.S. for more than six months and then trying to enter the country by using the tiny, now green-colored document, the one that indicates there has been greater permanency to that same person’s residency status.
The United States has established a multi-step process for becoming a lawful permanent resident. The government has allowed-for modifications to that process, in the event that an applicant has formerly held a particular job. The modifications apply to those men and women who have been Afghan/Iraqi translators, broadcasters, Panama Canal employees or an employee in an International Organization. The modifications also apply to NATO-6 non-immigrants and religious workers.
Those men and women who have been granted the right to claim permanency of residence must pay their taxes. However, they cannot vote or run for a government office; moreover, they cannot hold a government job. Those are rights that belong to citizens.
Still, a green-card holder can apply for citizenship after five years. That period has been reduced to three years for those who are married to a U.S. citizen. Those residents who have been granted citizenship status get to vote, to run for an office and to hold a government job.
They also enjoy some other special privileges. For example, each of them can look forward to traveling to other countries; each of them is able to apply for a passport from the United States. In addition, each of them has been freed about any worries concerning a great delay, upon initiating the process that should allow family members to enter the country of the resident’s new address in USA.
You can always discuss your specific case with an immigration attorney and ask for assistance with the various procedures and documentation that is needed. Most of the attorneys have years of experience dealing with a variety of visa cases and are available for consultation, assistance and filing in petitions on your behalf when needed. When you have a reliable immigration attorney working with you to file for permanent residence card, you can be sure you will get the legalities correct. From helping you complete the process of collecting and filing the documents to assisting you with the interview and processes, it can be a help to have someone knowledgeable by your side.