What is a Geen Card
- A Green Card is officially known as a Permanent Resident Card and it allows you to live, work, and study permanently in the United States.
- It comes as a plastic photo identification when you become a lawful United States citizen.
- The green card has a history of a variety of names and colors. It is called a green card because they were green in color between 1946 to 1964. It was also referred to has an Resident Alien Card or an Alien Registration Receipt Card. However, the name ‘Green Card” never changes even when they were blue, pink and yellow in the years that follow.
- A green card should be in the possession of its owner always and must be presented to a U.S. official if needs be or you may liable to a fine.
- A Green Card expires after 10 years and must renewed. Cards that were issue between 1977 – 1989 has no expiration date.
- A Green Card makes you a lawful permanent resident of the United States but not a citizen.
Difference Between a Citizen and a Lawful Permanent Resident
United States Citizen
- You become a citizen of the United States either by birth, through U.S. citizen parent(s), or by naturalization.
- As a United States citizen, you will receive a passport that is issued by the government of the United States as a means of identification of your citizenship.
- United States citizens can move freely to and from the United States at any time and does not need a re-entry permit.
- A U.S. citizen cannot be deported from the United States unless the citizenship was obtained by false pretense.
- A U.S. citizen can apply for their parents, spouse, children, brothers and sisters to enter the United States.
Lawful Permanent Resident
- A lawful permanent resident is a holder of a green card.
- Compared to United States citizens, lawful permanent residents have several limitations even though they are permitted to work and live freely in the United States.
- While United States Citizens can vote in elections, permanent residents are not permitted to participate in the election voting exercise.
- Permanent residents have travel restrictions and must frequently keep their personal details and contact updated with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Permanent residents can be deported if they commit certain crimes or security violations.
What is the Green Card Program?
- The green card Program is officially known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program or DV Program and is a United States government program that enables eligible participants from selected countries to obtain a United States permanent residence status for themselves and their families.
- The current DV Program was established by the immigration act of 1990 and is administered by the U.S. Department of State.
- Every year millions of people apply to the D.V program but only 55,000 are selected each year.
- The first DV Program drawing took place in 1995 and was established to promote diversity among the immigrant population in the United States.
Who Can Participate in The Green Card Program?
Benefits of Having A Green Card
- Freedom to work and live permanently in the United States – free to apply for any job within the U.S.
- Freedom of movement – free to travel and live anywhere within the U.S.
- Legal Rights and Privileges – qualify for many benefits such as social security, insurance coverage, health benefits, retirement benefits, etc.
- Seek U.S. Citizenship – ability to seek your United States citizenship after five years of having a green card. As a citizen you will have the opportunity to vote.
- Sponsorship for relatives – as a green card holder you can sponsor your relatives to come to the United States to live and work.