Green cards allow immigrants to become legal U.S. citizens. They provide immigrants with citizen rights and work eligibility. Obtaining a green card is not always an easy or straightforward process. There are many prerequisites and criteria that you must meet before you can receive a green card.

Are you eligible?

There are certain things that the government will look for before they give you a green card. Here are some of the more common reasons immigrants receive green cards:

  • Family member is a citizen
  • Employment offer
  • Refugee
  • Status adjustment

There are also other scenarios and situations that allow immigrants to become legal citizens. These are usually less common, but can include:

  • Family that has been subject to abuse
  • Individual who assisted the U.S. Government 
  • Victim of human trafficking

If you are unsure if you or a loved one can apply for a green card, you can always seek counsel from an experienced immigration lawyer. They can evaluate your situation and help you find a way to become a citizen.

The green card process

Obtaining a green card is not known to be an easy or simple process. There are various forms and procedures you will need to complete. These include:

  • Filing and filling out green card forms
  • Completing a background check
  • Completing a medical exam
  • Attending an interview

The process can be confusing at times, which is normal. Each person’s situation is very different, which means that no process will ever be the same or have the same outcome. If you have questions or need advice, never hesitate to ask, immigration lawyers are available and willing to help.

After you receive a green card

Once you receive your green card there are some things you should keep in mind. Some situations require that you renew your green card every 10 years. Always keep this in mind and be aware of when your renewal date is coming up. The renewal process can take awhile. It is suggested that you give yourself a six-month advance on the process.

Additionally, if you are over the age of 18, you will need to have your green card with you at all times. This is proof of your citizenship, so you will need to be prepared if a law official or employer asks to see your card.

The entire process can be overwhelming and stressful. An attorney can help explain the procedure and guide you through the process. They will also address any questions or concerns you may have about obtaining legal citizenship.