What Is A Green Card: Everything You Need To Know


Green card is a document that allows a foreigner to reside permanently in the United States of America, its official name is US Permanent Resident Card.

If you are a person who aspires to live in the USA one day, understanding what a green card is can help a lot in this process, and facilitate the understanding and acquisition of what type of visa has to do with your profile.

In this article, we will decipher what a green card is, and answer the main questions about this type of visa.

What is a Green Card?

green card

The Green Card is a document that certifies a permanent residence permit for a person who lives or intends to live in the United States, and is one of several types of American visas.

This type not only allows permanent residency, but also offers access to some benefits, such as medical assistance, and other benefits. Despite having its name as permanent, this document is not for life, as it will need to be renewed every 10 years.

The document’s main function is to make a foreigner’s home in the US legal, which does not affect the person’s original citizenship.

How to get a Green Card?

There are several ways to win a green card, the main ones are:


In this option, the immigrant must marry someone else who already has a permanent green card or American citizenship. This is one of the quickest methods to achieve, but for that, the other party must have a permanent green card, be an American or have American citizenship.

When getting married, the immigrant already receives a permanent American green card title, which lasts for two years. When the two years are complete and the marriage is still active, the immigrant receives the permanent green card title.


If you have parents, children or siblings who hold an American green card or American citizenship title, they can apply for you to gain access.

This process is faster when the children apply to the father, which can take an average of 6 months to respond. If parents or siblings apply for their children or siblings, this period can take between 5 and 10 years.


In this possibility, the immigrant would have to obtain an EB-5 visa first. Anyone who has between USD 500,000.00 and USD 1,000,000.00 can open a company in the USA and generate 10 new job openings.

If this company is located in an area that is encouraged, such as a rural area, for example, where the demand for employment is higher, the amount requested is lower, if it is in an area that is not encouraged, that value goes up.


This way of obtaining a green card is coordinated directly by the US State Department, whose main objective is to offer permanent residence to some immigrants who fulfill certain requirements.

The main objective is to further diversify the American population, so it is common for countries with low immigration rates to participate in the election.

This draw is held annually, in 2020, approximately 55 thousand permanent residence cards were drawn in lottery format.

Are Green Card and US citizenship the same thing?

Although it seems, the American green card visa is not the same as an American citizenship.


Upon obtaining a green card, and having a permanent residence permit in the USA, the person will be entitled to most of the rights and obligations of American citizens, less the right to vote, which is granted only to American citizens.

American citizens also have the possibility to leave the United States and stay as long as they want, since those who only have permanent residency need to notify immigration when they leave the country, a period longer than six months, in the period of one year.

The person who holds US citizenship can apply for a green card for direct relatives, such as children, husbands, wives and parents. Who has only the green card can do this process, however the process takes much longer.

The differences between the two are not very large, it is important to assess what the objectives are when applying for American citizenship.

Understanding what a green card is will make your immigration process to the USA much easier, if you are interested, look for qualified immigration professionals to update your requirements, and be able to streamline the process.

Did you like this content? Have you thought about living permanently in the United States? Leave a comment and share with us and with our readers, your opinion and your ideas!

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