apply for green cardHaving a Green card or the status of permanent residence in the United States of America gives you the rights and freedom to work and live freely anywhere in the US.  When you have a Green card, you may study and have your own business there.  Though it does not give you the citizenship status yet, having a Green card will be your way to finally become an American citizen after a few years.

There are many things to do to finally get hold of your card.  Here are the forms you need to complete to make sure your application goes through.

1.       Form G-325, Biographic Information

This is the form you need to fill-up first.  The Biographic information form will let the US government know from what country are you from as well as your nationality. Expect all the general questions you usually found in a bio-data in this form.

2.       Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

You need to get an affidavit of support if you are applying for a Green card through an immediate relative who is permanently residing in the US or who is already a Green card holder.  This form must be signed by your sponsor (spouse or family member from the US) certifying that he/she holds full legal responsibility for finally supporting you.  The financial support would last until you finally become a US citizen and is working 40 hours a week.  This obligation might take up to 10 years.

3.       Form G-325, Medical Examination

You need to pass the medical examination for you to finish your application for a Green card.  A designated surgeon will conduct the examination and will ensure that you complete all the series of tests to be taken.  The tests to be taken are:

  • Physical Examination and mental status evaluation
  • Tuberculin (TB) Skin Test
  • Serologic (Blood) Test
  • Vaccinations

4.       Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

This form is the most important.  The purpose of Form I-485 is to apply for adjustment of your status to a permanent resident in the United States.  This is also the final form to accomplish in your application.

How much does it costs to get a green card?

The cost of getting a green card varies.  Approximation would be around $6500.  But you need to take note that each stage on obtaining your card has its own fees.  Below is the estimated breakdown of expenses for the entire processing of Green Card:

  • Attorney’s fee which may cost $4000.  This is not really a requirement.  Some people just opt to have an attorney when they have problems regarding the documents or just to avoid the fuss of the application.
  • $1000 for advertising fee.  Most law firms do not include advertising fee so you need to spare money for this one.
  • $475 for Preference Petition papers
  • Final application for Permanent Resident is $1,010.

Now that you know the things you need to do plus the estimated budget for your Green card, you can now be sure that your application process will run as smooth as possible.

Benefits of Having a Green Card

Posted May 22nd, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

Apply for Green CardThere are many reasons why you may want to get a Green card as thousands of people from all over the world do.

Green card, or Permanent Resident Visa, is issued as a pass to qualified people to live and work in the United States of America.  Once you have a Green card, you are free to travel around the US and get the career you’ve always wanted.  You can also advance your education because Green card allows you to study at any school in the US.  You also get the chance to invest or start your own business there.

Being a green card holder gives you the rights and privileges that Native Americans enjoy.  You are entitled to an impartial employment based on merit and experience; you have the full rights to be the boss of your own company; and you also have the right to choose your place of abode anywhere you would wish in the US.  Alongside these rights, you may be obliged to pay taxes just like American citizens do and will not be able to participate in any political affair as it is only enjoyed by the citizens.

Aside from these, if you’re wishing to permanently live in America, obtaining a Green card would be the perfect way to do it.  Though this card does not make you an American citizen, it’s the best way to apply for a change in your nationality.  You will just need at least 5 years of permanent resident status and after that, you can now be an American Citizen.

Applying for a Green card takes considerable period of time and effort.  There are many papers and documents to arrange and requirements to comply with.  Don’t frown if I will tell you that acquiring a Green card may take you a few years.  However, it’s always worth the wait.  Your Green card is valid for 10 years and you can always renew or re-validate it.  But if everything goes smoothly, you can get hold of your card after 3 to 6 months.  So if you want to speed up the process, make sure that paperwork and other requirements are at hand.  In case of any changes with the documents you provided, you have to inform the proper authority as soon as possible to avoid postponement or delay in the processing of your Green card.

You are qualified to apply for a visa of you have worked or are working in an American-owned company; you have an immediate family member who is permanently residing in the US; you are married or will be married to an American citizen or any foreign national holding a Green card; if you won in the Green card Lottery; or if you are deemed as refugee by the American government.

With a Green card, you can get there and start a new life full of hope in the US.  You only need to come up with the decision and believe a better life is waiting for you there… In the Land of the Free.

Why Have a Green Card?

Posted May 22nd, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

Green Card AdviceIn recent years, People from different nationality strive to make it big in the greatest country on Earth, the United States of America. In order to do so legally, you need to have a US Immigrant green card.  Many people have heard of the US Green card and when you say Green card, you think of America.  Well that’s true.  However, in applying for a Green card, it’s not enough that you know that it’s just a card that you can use to come and stay in the US legally.  It’s more than just a typical visa card. There are many opportunities waiting for you in the Land of the Free if you have one. Here are some notable opportunities you can enjoy.

Opportunity to Work

If you desire to have an outstanding career in America, you shouldn’t forget to apply for a Green card.  With this card, you get the opportunity to work among better paying jobs anywhere in the US.  You can compete with other Native Americans in a particular job. You enjoy the rights they have and you get to earn more.

Opportunity to Showcase who you really are

Talking about earning, completing the Green card process gives you the privilege to put up your own business.  If you are a Filipino who wants to showcase your country’s handcrafts to the whole world, Green card is what you need.  If you’re Chinese, and want to give the Hollywood a taste of your cuisines, you are free to put up your restaurant.  Without a Green card, you might find it real hard (if not impossible) to invest and be a successful entrepreneur in the US.

Opportunity to become a US Citizen

Having a Green card doesn’t mean you would have to change your citizen.  Green card only gives you a Resident Status.  However, if you wish to change your citizenship, you can apply for US citizenship after a few years of holding a Green card.

Opportunity to enjoy rights and privileges that Native Americans have

After the completion of Green card process, you can enjoy all the rights and privileges with that of an American citizen once you are a green card holder.  Again you can work, reside, invest, and make it big in a nation of the free people.

The process though may take a few years depending on the type of green card you are applying for but if you have all necessary requirements ready, obtaining a Green card may just take 3-6 months.  Get ready for all the workarounds, it isn’t an easy one to accomplish. However, it’s worth the wait and effort.


Win Your Green Card with Your Luck

Posted May 21st, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

green card lotteryIf you’re working in the US, or you have an immediate relative living there or is a US citizen already, or you were married to an American citizen, obtaining a Green card would be as easy as 1, 2, and 3.  But, what if you’re just planning to get employed in an American company?  What if you don’t know any relative or friend living in America?  What if you’re boyfriend isn’t a citizen there?  Can you still acquire a Green card?

The answer is a BIG yes!  Though you have none of these qualifications, you can still work and reside in the USA.  You can do pretty much what you want and even study there.  But the question now is HOW?  It’s simple.  You apply for the Green Card Lottery.

The Game of Fortune

If you have lots of luck in lotteries, you might as well win a Green card in an instance!  The Diversity Visa lottery, what we will refer all throughout this article as Green card Lottery, is a Green card process that lets anyone (whoever you are and wherever you came from), get the chance to obtain a permanent resident immigrant visa.  The program was made officially authorized under the US Immigration Act of 1990.

Are you qualified?

You need not be a College graduate to qualify for the Green card Lottery though you have to meet certain educational requirements.  You must have completed at least high school degree equivalent to US high school education.  That would mean 12 years of schooling from elementary to high school.  Or, you must have worked within 5 years in a job requiring 2 years of training and experience to get hired.  Another requirement (this is the easiest) is to claim nativity in an eligible country.  To find out if your country belongs to the list of eligible countries, you may get in touch with National Immigration of USA.

Break a Leg!

Under Green card Lottery, the Department of State of the US government, will draw by random selection, 50 000 lucky immigrants to get a Green card.  The lottery is done annually but you only get the chance to apply once a year so before applying, give yourself a very big pat in the shoulder and say “good luck!” to yourself.


Methods in Obtaining a US Green Card

Posted May 21st, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

apply for green cardSo you’re planning to apply for a Green card?  If you are, you should be able to identify what method you shall use to get your card as soon as possible.  To help you get started with your application, here are the different methods on how you can apply for a Green card.  After going through this article, you should be able to spot what kind of eligibility you have..

Method #1:        Green Card through Employment and Sponsorship

If you are currently working, or HAVE worked with a US company, you are eligible to apply for a Green card.  You don’t have to be the employer to apply for a Green card and doesn’t have to be employed at the time of your application. Another advantage of getting Green card through employment is that you don’t spend even just a cent for the entire process.  You employer pays it for you.  With this kind of eligibility, you get a job and Green card at the same time!

Method #2:        Green Card through an Immediate Relative

Just to reiterate, you need to have direct/ immediate family member to apply for a Green card using this method.  So if you have a sibling or parent permanently residing in the US, you can file your application and comply with necessary requirements set for by the authority.

Method #3:        Green card through Marriage

It’s great if you are married or soon to be married with a US citizen because it will be very easy for you to get a Green card.   If you will be applying directly in the US, the process may take for 12 to 18 months but you can start to reside and work there already.  If you’re married to a Green card holder, you and your children (if you have) can travel and stay in the US with your spouse while your Green card application is in process.

Method #4:        Green card through Drawing of Lots

You heard it right.  If you are not eligible to apply using the first three methods, then you can try your luck to apply for a Green card through the Green Card Lottery.  Under this program, 50 000 permanent resident visas will be granted to 50 000 people through a random selection or lottery.

Other methods to obtain a Green card include refugees and asylum immigrants, green card for amnesty, special immigrants such as religious worker, foreign employees for considerable period of time, foreign agricultural workers, and other special immigrants as deemed eligible by the US government.

green card adviceEvery year, more and more people from all parts of the world aim to get a Green card.  Such card, allows a non US citizen to become a permanent resident in the United States of America.  Having a Green card gives you the opportunity to work, study, put up your own business, and gives you the lawful right to reside up to the point of finally acquiring a US citizenship.

With all these benefits, acquiring a Green card becomes a fascination for many foreign nationals who want to live the American dream.

However, getting an immigration Green card may take longer and a lot of patience plus efforts are required alongside all the necessary paperwork and workarounds.

The time necessary to process an immigration Green card varies from person to person, depending on the circumstances and level of eligibility.  If you have all the required documents readily available, you can get hold of your Green card in just 3-4 months.  So you may want to spare quite sometime in complying and completing all your paperwork to avoid delay and interruption in the process.  You don’t want to be spending the rest of your years waiting for a Green card just because you lack a certain document that if you will just give time to, will just take you couple of minutes in the immigration office.

The requirements vary as well from each of the applicants.  Say, if you’re applying for a green card through employment and sponsorship, the entire process may take a little shorter for you since it will be your employer who will do all the necessary workaround to complete your application.  If you are married or soon to get married to a US citizen or a Green card holder, even though it may take couple of years to get hold of your permanent resident card, you can already stay and work in the US.

It’s a bit harder to get a Green card through family sponsorship (if you have an immediate family member).  You need to supply evidences alongside the mandatory papers.  Not only that, there will also be additional checks like criminal background, moral character check, and some other requisites.  If you need to make some changes in your data and documents, you have to inform the right authorities of it to avoid problems.

Getting a Green card isn’t a one-stop ride.  There are many impediments along your way.  But don’t worry.  After you get your green card, a better life lies ahead in the land of the free.


Green Card FAQ’s

Posted May 20th, 2011. Filed under FAQ's Green Card Advice

green card adviceBelow are answers to common questions from people related to a US Green Card

“I’ve heard of it but what really is a Green Card?”

Green card is basically your pass to live and work in the United States of America. It is also called Permanent Resident Card.  Once you have a Green Card, you can freely work in the USA and enjoy the rights that Native Americans enjoy.  A Green card gives you a permanent U.S resident status but it doesn’t mean you will become a U.S citizen so you can still retain your nationality.  Yet, if you like, you can apply for citizenship after having a Green card for a number of years.

“Why should I get a Green Card?”

There are many reasons why you may want to get a Green Card.  Since it gives you the right to live and work like an American citizen, you can freely work, study, and whatever things that Americans can legally do in their country.  Having a Green card is also an advantage to many business enthusiasts as it allows them to put up a business or expand their business without ay fuss.

“Am I qualified to get a Green Card?”

You can apply for a Green card if you are eligible under one of immigrant categories as provided by Immigration Nationality Act (INA); you have an immigrant visa readily available; have an approved petition immigrant (if you have a relative who petitioned you) and; admissible to the United States.

“Great, now how do I get a Green Card?”

There are 5 different ways on how you can acquire a Green card: Green card through employment-based green card referred to a eb1, eb2, and eb3 categories; Green card lottery; Green card through asylum and refugee status; and Green card through investment.

“How long does it take to get a Green Card?”

Just like any documents and paperwork, especially when you want to work abroad, Green card application process may take sometime.  It actually depends on the personal circumstances of applicants.  The Green card process begins from filing to acquiring your resident status, it may take a couple of years plus the other hassles and delay when filing and submitting requirements.  Don’t lose hope.  If your application runs smoothly, you can get your card within 3 to 6 months.

“Does Green card expires?”

Yes it does.  Once you get a Green card, you are entitled to be a US resident for 10 years.  After which, you would have to revalidate or renew your card to enjoy your privileges.



Getting a Green Card through Lottery

Posted May 19th, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

Green Card LotteryMany would say that the easiest way to obtain a Green card is through your employer if you’re working in America, or if you are being petitioned by a family member who is already a naturalized citizen in the US.  But what if you have never set foot in America or you know no one there?  You need not frown.  Green Card lottery could just be perfect for you.

Green Card Lottery

Another way to obtain a green card is through lottery initiated by the American Congress.  According to this program, there will be 50 000 people who’ll have the chance to acquire US resident status by means of lottery! Yes. Believe it or not- if you’re name is lucky enough to get drawn from the lot- you’ve got it.

History of Green Card Lottery

Green card lottery was initiated by the US congress in 1986 in acknowledgement of immigrants coming from unrepresented countries and for those people who have been affected by the INA (Immigration Nationality Act).  The congress devised a lottery program to provide opportunity for the “diverse” immigrants under the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, allowing people from the unrepresented countries to be able to work freely in the United States and attain permanent resident status.

Application Process

In the past, applicants for the Green card lottery submit their application through post.  But in year 2003, it was already done online.  First you need to check with USAGCLS if you qualify then you need to pay $250 as administrative fee. You would have to visit the US Department of State website and get the form there. After that, you will be given your username and password to complete your application.  The most important thing you need to have if you want to have a green card through lottery is the Diversity Visa application.  Once you’ve won in the lottery, you will be notified via mail.

Rights and Privileges

Once you get your card, you can enjoy the rights and privileges that a Native American can enjoy except of course the right to vote as it is intended for American citizens only.  With your green card, you will have permanent resident status and it can be renewed after 10 years.  You also gain the right to work freely anywhere in the United States and to invest or put up your own business.  If you want to be a US citizen, all you need is 5 years of residency and you can apply for citizenship.  Having the green card lets you enjoy the rights and obligations (such as paying of tax) along with other Native Americans.



Green Card ProcessYour dream to live and work in America is a lot easier when you are a Green card holder.  With a Green card, you are endowed with privileges and rights enjoyed by regular American citizens. You can work, live, put up a business, and do whatever you like so long as it’s legal and it doesn’t contradict with any American law, of course. These are the reasons why more and more people coming from all around the globe (especially from countries wanting to have stable and bright career) apply for US Immigration Green card every year.

Just like getting into college for example, it may take a great amount of time for you to finish a degree and so does getting a Green card.  Application for Green card may cost considerable amount of time, so you need to be extra patient especially when completing the requirements.  However, knowing the step by step process on green card issuance can save you time, money and effort and most importantly, it assures you that you will be able to stay in the United States of America to probably work and live. Here are three simplified steps:

Step #1: Applicant visits UD Department of State Website

Green cards applications are only available in the internet. Signing up in the website is free and you would have to fill in the required information to proceed. The Green card application is not that complicated. You will be using DV2005 form which you can complete quickly. However, you need to be very careful in putting your information. According to research, 40% of the applicants are being disqualified every year because of mistakes.  Take your time in filling up the form because you only get one chance to apply for green card in a year.

The application period opens from the first or second week of November and usually lasts for a month or two and no applications will be considered earlier or later than the specified time.  So be alert!

Step #2: Qualified applicant submits Requirements

One tip to make the application for you is to submit all the requirements ahead of time and in any case of changes, inform the authority ASAP.  When you apply for a Green card, you need to be patient for it may take a few years before your card gets released.  But, if you were able to comply with all the documents and paperwork early, you can have your card within 3-65 months.

Step #3- Applicant obtains Permanent Resident Status

Congratulations!  After getting your card you now have a Permanent Resident Status and you get to enjoy many rights such as the right to freely work in the US and to live there.  By the way, having a Green card does not mean you are already a US citizen.  If you want to be one, you need to wait for a few years again (minimum of 5 years) and apply for it as well.



Getting a US Immigration Green Card

Posted April 26th, 2011. Filed under Green Card Advice

Green Card ProcessA US Permanent Resident card or many people would popularly refer to as “Green card” is a card proof issued by the US Government to non-US citizen assuring them that they can lawfully and permanently reside in the US for a period time. Having a Green card allows you to live and work in the US legally without necessarily being a citizen yet. Furthermore, it serves as your initial step if you want to obtain US citizenship.  An immigration Green card is valid for up to 10 years and renewable after but as early four years and nine months you can already apply for US citizenship. People anywhere in the world can apply for Immigration Green card as long as they are qualified and are able to comply with all the requirements set by US Department of State and National Immigration Act (NIA).

You can get a Green card if you are eligible under one of immigrant categories as provided by Immigration Nationality Act (INA); you currently work in the US and your employer approves of your application; you have an immigrant visa readily presented; and if you have an approved petition immigrant (if you have a family member in the US). Here are four ways you can get a US Immigration green card:

Family-Based Green card. If you have an immediate relative in the US, you are eligible to obtain an Immigration Green card.  Immediate relatives as defined by NIA are: spouses of a US citizen, parents of a US citizen, and unmarried children below 21 years of age of a US citizen.  You will be entailed with a migration visa immediately and with no limits if you fall under this category.

Employment-Based Green card. If you want to get a Green card via employment, you should fall under 3 preferences which will be assessed by your employer.  The following are the order of preference:

1st Preference includes alien workers with exceptional abilities such as outstanding     researchers, professors, executives, and or managers.
2nd Preference includes professionals bearing advanced degrees and extraordinary abilities
3rd Preference includes skilled workers, professionals and qualified employees
4th Preference includes investors and entrepreneurs/business owners.

Asylum/Refugee-Based Green card. If you are a refugee in the United States or a qualifying child or spouse of a refugee then you are eligible to apply for a Green card.  If you were into an asylum in the US, your qualifying spouse child or spouse will be entitled of 1 year resident status.

Green card lottery. If you don’t fall under any categories, you can try your luck in the Green card lottery.  Green card lottery is a special immigration program designed by the US congress to give opportunity to all immigrants coming from unrepresented countries in the US.  Every year, the US Department of State will be drawing 50 000 lucky winners to proceed with their application online.

Once you identified under what category you belong, it’s now time to proceed with the application process which is – a different story.