Green Card Application – Everything You Need to Know

By March 25, 2021Immigration Law Blog
green card application

Have questions about your green card application? Today we’re covering everything that you need to know about the green card application so that you can get your process underway!

Green Card Application – Everything You Need to Know

What Does a Green Card Do?

A green card is also known as a permanent resident card. Having a valid permanent resident card gives you permission to live and work in the United States permanently.

Does Everyone Follow the Same Process to Get a Green Card?

No. The steps needed to get a green card will vary depending on your personal situation, any number of elements can impact the steps that you need to take to obtain your green card.

Do I Have to Renew a Green Card?

Yes. Most green cards in the United States expire after ten years. If you need to renew your green card, you should begin the renewal process a minimum of six months before the expiry date on your current green card.

Some green cards are issued on a conditional basis, for example, green cards that are issued based on marriage or based on investments, must be renewed after two years. This is done by applying to have the conditions of the visa removed by filing a Form I-751 to obtain a permanent green card.

What Are the Reasons That a Green Card May Be Denied?

There are more than a few reasons why a green card application may be denied.  Included in these reasons are:

  • Missing fields on the application form
  • Failure to attach necessary supporting documentation
  • Having insufficient financial means as required by immigration
  • Not being able to prove eligibility for green card issuance
  • Being unable to show that you have an authentic and valid marriage
  • Making mistakes while filling in the application form
  • Not providing a translation
  • Not providing certification of translation
  • Unacceptable style photographs
  • Failure to pay the necessary fees or only partially paying fees
  • Failing to sign all required fields

Am I Still Eligible For a Green Card If I Have Committed a Crime?

This depends. Only some crimes deem someone ineligible for a green card. There are three main types of crime that make someone ineligible for a green card, these include:

  1. aggravated felonies
  2. crimes involving “moral turpitude”
  3. crimes involving illegal drugs

What Does Biometric Screening Mean?

The term “biometric screening” refers to the USCIS process of collecting certain information from you required for green card processing. This information includes your fingerprints, your photograph, and your signature. The USCIS then uses this information to scan government records for any evidence of immigration violations in the past or a criminal record. Your appointment date will be assigned to you and the appointment itself is short and simple.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Green Card?

The answer to this depends on the path that is taken to getting a green card. It can take months to years to obtain a green card.

Do I Have to Pay to Get a Green Card?

Yes. Again, the cost of getting a green card depends on the process you are using to get your green card. For example, a marriage-based green card fee is $1,200 to $1,760 depending on whether or not the spouse applying for the card lives abroad or in the U.S. at the time of the application.

If I Get a Green Card, Will My Family Automatically Get One Too?

If you get a green card, your family doesn’t automatically get a green card too. Children who are under the age of 21 and who are unmarried, and some stepchildren and adopted children can get their green cards at the same time as you. Children who are married are only eligible to apply for a green card if they are related to you.

Do I Have to Have a Medical Exam to Immigrate to the United States?

To immigrate to the United States, you must undergo a medical exam. If you refuse to undergo a medical exam, you will be ineligible for entry to the United States. The purpose of the medical exam is to prevent particular diseases from being introduced into the country, diseases that could cause a public health crisis, for example, tuberculosis.

Is It Possible to Track My Green Card Application Online?

Yes, but only if you have the receipt number from your application. You can use this receipt number on the USCIS government website here. If you are working with an immigration attorney, your attorney will also be able to help you with tracking your green card application.

If I’m a Green Card Holder, Can I Be Called For Jury Duty?

Yes, but you cannot serve. Sometimes a jury duty request will find its way to you, but if it does, know that you cannot serve on a jury. Green card holders and permanent residents are not permitted to serve on a jury in the United States, this is a right reserved for citizens only. This also means that you cannot serve on a jury with a VISA status.

Can I Vote?

Sometimes. When you have a green card, you are eligible to vote in some elections – but not the presidential election. If you have a VISA, you are not permitted to vote at all.

Do You Need an Attorney To Help With Your Green Card Application?

If you need an attorney to help with your green card application in the Pasadena, California area, Nelson Immigration can help. To make an appointment to speak with attorney Nelson and see how he can help you, give our office a call today at 877-466-4452!