A United States permanent resident card allows you to live and work in the country for at least 10 years. Having permanent resident card status allows you certain responsibilities and rights. If you want to become a naturalized citizen in the U.S. you need to become a permanent resident. To become a green card resident, you must follow a series of steps.

The Permanent Resident Card Application is the Second Step to Getting a Green Card

The first step to becoming a permanent resident is to figure out how you qualify for a green card. Eligibility is determined according to several categories. These categories include, but is not limited to:

  • Family
  • Special immigrant
  • Employment
  • Refugee or Asylee Status
  • Victim of Abuse

You Sponsor must Do Some Work to Get an Immigration Resident Card

Once you have determined what is your eligibility requirement, it is time to submit forms and pay the application fees. This is typically not something that you must do. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires your sponsor to submit the forms. The first form to be completed in the form based on your eligibility. For instance, if your eligibility is based on employment, you’d complete Form I-140. This form is called an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. If you are applying for a family green card, you’d complete the Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-130.

The other form needed to complete is one your sponsor will complete is the I-485. This is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. In addition to the forms, your sponsor must submit other supporting evidence and pay the application fees.

After the Green Card Application is Processed

You have to wait to determine if your application is approved or denied. The wait may take up to six months or longer for the USCIS to complete your application. For example, if they have a lot of application or something is missing from your application, the determination may be delayed. If it is approved, you have to complete two interviews.

The interview, if you are outside of the county, will occur at the consulate in your home country. If you are in the county, the interview will happen in the United States. The first interview is called a biometrics appointment.

This appointment is for you to provide your personal information. This personal information includes your passport-style photographs and fingerprints. Also, you must provide a signature. This personal information is used for security checks.

Starting the Process to Become a Green Card Resident

The second interview will determine if you will be able to move to America. The interview will occur with a USCIS official. Once your permanent resident card application is approved you will be able to move to the U.S. or stay in the country. After about five years of being in the county, you can apply to be a naturalized citizen. A naturalized citizen is just like a native-born American citizen. You are granted the rights and responsibilities that are different than your native country.

Read More:
Exploring the Green Card Process