A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, gives immigrants permanent resident status in the United States. With a green card in hand, you can move to the U.S., work, and build a home with your family.
1. How to apply for a green card
Many steps and procedures are required to get a green card, and the process differs depending on whether you apply within the United States or from outside the country. When you apply within the U.S., this is known as an “adjustment of status.” Applying for a green card outside the U.S. is known as “consular processing.”
2. Who is eligible to apply for a green card
To apply for a green card, you first need to determine if you are eligible. Some criteria that could make you eligible for a green card include:
- Family-based green card. Example: you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.
- Employment-based green card. Example: you are an immigrant worker in a preferred area, such as having extraordinary talent as a scientist or athlete.
- Humanitarian-based green card. Example: you were the victim of human trafficking.
- Refugee-based green card. Example: you were admitted as a refugee at least one year ago.
- Religious worker-based green card. Example: you are a member of a religious denomination coming to the U.S. with a non-profit religious organization.
- Other green cards. Example: you were selected for a diversity visa in the Department of State’s diversity visa lottery.
3. What steps are involved in applying for a green card
The exact steps for applying for a green card depend on your specific situation. However, there are some general tasks that each applicant will have to complete, including:
- Filing an immigrant petition
- Completing a green card application with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) or a visa application with the U.S. Department of State.
- Attend a biometrics appointment. Here you will provide fingerprints, photos, and your signature.
- Do an interview.
- Wait for a decision on your application.
Does the green card application include a medical exam?
As part of the application process, you have to do a green card medical exam. The exam aims to identify if an applicant is inadmissible due to health-related concerns. A physician designated by the USCIS will perform the green card medical exam.
Medical immigration exams in the United States are performed by an immigration doctor, otherwise known as a civil surgeon. Panel physicians perform exams outside of the U.S. at a consulate or embassy. The purpose of the exam is to identify if an applicant is inadmissible due to health-related concerns.
Using a civil surgeon lcoator tool, you can find an immigration doctor near you.
Are you ready to apply for a green card?
If you dream of moving to the U.S. to work or create a new family life, you will need a green card.
While the process can seem complicated, take it step-by-step. Once you receive your green card, you can enjoy the many benefits that come with it.