Steps to Get a Green Card
The steps to becoming a Green Card holder (permanent resident) vary by category and depend on whether you currently live inside or outside the United States. The main categories are:
- Green Card Through Family
- Green Card Through a Job
- Green Card Through Refugee or Asylee Status
- Other Ways to Get a Green Card
If you are already a Green Card holder, see our After the Green Card Is Granted webpage for information on:
- Renewing or replacing your Green Card
- Removing conditions on a Green Card
- Travel outside the United States
- Rights and responsibilities of Green Card holders
The “Green Card Processes & Procedures” section provides additional information on:
- Green Card Eligibility: Learn who can apply for permanent residence
- Adjustment of Status: Learn about the multi-step process for individuals inside the United States that want to get a Green Card
- Consular Processing: Learn about the multi-step process for individuals outside the United States that want to get a Green Card.
Who is a Green Card Holder (Permanent Resident)?
A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.” You can become a permanent resident several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents through refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs. In some cases, you may be eligible to file for yourself.
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