Frequently Asked Questions about Applying for a Green Card

Picture of green card and visa


The Green Card application process can be lengthy and complicated. This article answers ten of the most frequently asked questions about the Green Card application. It outlines the eligibility requirements, explains how to apply for a Green Card, discusses different types of Green Cards, addresses how long it takes to get approved for a Green Card, and more. Read on to learn more about the application process so you can make sure your application is correctly submitted and processed quickly.

1. Who is eligible for a Green Card?

To be eligible for a Green Card in the United States, individuals must meet certain criteria set forth by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These requirements vary depending on whether you are applying as an immigrant, a refugee, an exchange visitor, or other immigrant category. Generally, foreign nationals must have a family member who is already a United States citizen or permanent resident to be eligible for a Green Card; be sponsored by an employer; or have certain specialized skills that are needed in the United States.

2. How can I apply for a Green Card?

To apply for a Green Card, in certain situations or specific people who have entered lawfully, you must fill out Form I-485 and submit it with documents proving your eligibility to USCIS. You may also need to submit additional forms depending on your immigration status and type of Green Card you are applying for. For example, if you are applying as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen, you will need to include Form I-130 and I-130A. .

3. What types of Green Cards are available?

There are several different types of Green Cards available to foreign nationals. These include family-based Green Cards, employment-based Green Cards, diversity visas, refugee and asylee status, and special immigrant visas. Each category has its own set of eligibility requirements and application procedures.

4. How long does it take to get approved for a Green Card?

The amount of time it takes to get approved for a Green Card varies depending on the type of application you submit and your individual circumstances. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from six months to one year or more before your application is processed and you receive a decision from USCIS.

5. What documents do I need to submit with my Green Card application?

When applying for a Green Card, you must include documentation that proves your eligibility. This can include birth certificates, marriage certificates, proof of employment or other qualifications, and financial documents. You may also need to provide documents from any legal proceedings or criminal history associated with your application.

6. How much does it cost to apply for a Green Card?

The cost of applying for a Green Card varies depending on the type of application you are submitting and any additional filing fees required by USCIS. Generally speaking, the filing fee is $1,225 USD per applicant; however, there may be additional costs associated with background checks or medical examinations if they are necessary for your application.

7. Does my Green Card expire?

Yes, most types of Green Cards are valid for a set period of time and must be renewed once they expire. To renew your Green Card, you will need to submit Form I-90 and any additional documents required by USCIS. The process typically takes several months or years, so it is important to begin the renewal process well before your Green Card expires.

8. Can I travel outside the United States with a Green Card?

Yes, you can travel outside the United States with a valid Green Card; however, you may need to obtain a reentry permit if you plan on staying in another country for an extended period of time.. Additionally, you may need to obtain a visa in order to enter certain countries.

9. Can I apply for citizenship with a Green Card?

Yes, if you have held a valid Green Card for at least five years (or three years if you are married to a United States citizen), you can apply for United States citizenship through the naturalization process by submitting Form N-400 and other required documents to USCIS.

10. If I am denied a Green Card, can I appeal the decision?

Yes, if your application for a Green Card is denied, you may be able to file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office within 30 days of receiving the decision. The appeal must be accompanied by a detailed explanation of why you believe the denial was incorrect, as well as any additional evidence that may support your claim.

It is important to familiarize yourself with the requirements and procedures before submitting your application so that you can ensure a successful outcome. If you have any further questions about the Green Card application process, please contact an experienced immigration attorney for assistance. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and get all your questions answered!