Common Questions about Green Cards

For many, receiving a green card is something to look
forward to, as it grants individuals authorization to live and work in the
United States. While, undoubtedly, it is an exciting event, it is important
that those interested in becoming green card holders understand what the application
process and status entails. Below are some commonly asked questions about green

What is a green card?

A green card serves as proof that an individual has been
approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be in the country
as a permanent resident. People who hold them are also known as lawful permanent

With a green card, individuals are permitted to work in the
U.S., apply for financial aid for education, leave and return to the U.S., and own
property, cars and other common items.

Who is able to apply
for a green card?  

Anyone can apply for a green card.

How do you qualify
for a green card?

Most qualify for green card eligibility through an employer, family members who
live in the U.S., meeting the criteria for the green card lottery, or through
asylum & refugee status.

Does a green card last a lifetime?

No. Green cards last for 10 years, after which you must renew
one or take the next step and apply for U.S. citizenship.

Do I need a lawyer when applying for a green card?

No. You are not required to have a lawyer present when
applying for a green card. However, you do need evidence that supports that you
are an individual in good standing to reside in the U.S. (meaning that you are
financially, legally and occupationally sound).

Do I have to take my green card everywhere with me?

Yes. As required by
law, you must carry your green card at all times, as you are still considered
an alien resident in the U.S. Also, it is recommended that you scan or make copies of your green
card and keep them stored in a safe place in case you lose or cannot find your
green card.

Can my
green card be taken from me?

Your green card can be taken if you become removable or inadmissible. For
instance, if you are convicted of a serious crime or abandon the U.S. as your
permanent place of residence, your status can be changed and you can lose your
green card. If you believe that your green card was taken from you unjustly,
you should seek the legal experience of a green card lawyer. Immigration law
can be extremely complicated and a lengthy process. At McGregor & Oblad
PLLC we are dedicated to helping individuals in such situations.