Green Card

FAQ About Green Cards

What is a green card?

Issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a “green card” provides proof of being a lawful permanent resident, which allows the card holder to live and work in the U.S. While most green require renewal every 10 years, conditional green cards based on marriage or investment needs to be renewed after two (2) years.

What is lawful permanent residency?

A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who is authorized to live and work anywhere in the U.S., as well as apply for U.S. citizenship. Lawful permanent residents can also sponsor certain relatives when they apply for their green cards.

What is conditional permanent residence?

A conditional green card lasts for only two (2) years and is typically issued to a spouse who has been married for less than two (2) years at the time their green card was first approved. On the physical card, the designation “CR1” means “conditional resident.” To obtain a permanent green card, a conditional green card holder needs to file Form I-751.

What are the different types of green cards?

There are several categories of green cards.

The following are the most common types of green cards:

  • Family-based green card – U.S. citizens and green card holders can sponsor spouses, children, parents, siblings, and other certain relatives.
  • Employment-based green card – Different types of foreign workers can apply for a green card and even on behalf of their spouses and children, in some cases. The categories include EB-1 (priority workers), EB-2 (professionals with advanced degrees and exceptional abilities), EB-3 (skilled, unskilled, and professional workers), EB-4 (special workers), and EB-5 (investors).
  • Humanitarian green card – Foreign nationals who have been granted asylum or refugee status may apply for a green card after physically living in the U.S. for at least one year. Human trafficking victims, crime victims, and abuse victims may also qualify for a green card after first meeting certain requirements.
  • Diversity lottery green card – Under the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, the U.S. government randomly selects up to 50,000 people every year from countries in six geographic regions (e.g., Asian, Africa, Europe, Oceania, etc.) that have had little immigration to the U.S. in the past.
  • Long-time resident green card – Lawful or unlawful foreign nationals who have physically lived in the U.S. since January 1, 1972, may apply for a green card through a special process known as “registry.”
  • Other green cards – Besides the green cards mentioned above, there are many other types of green cards.

What is a marriage green card?

This type of family-based green card is for an immigrant spouse and has special immigration priority. A marriage green card must be renewed every ten (10) years in order to maintain legal residency.

What are the common questions a USCIS officer asks during the marriage-based green card interview?

A USCIS officer will ask relatively simple questions about your relationship, including how you met and details of your wedding, as well as any background information. The interview generally lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.

Common marriage green card interview questions include:

  • Where did you meet?
  • Where was your first date?
  • When did your relationship turn romantic?
  • Have you met each other’s families?
  • How often do you see your family?
  • When did you propose?
  • Who proposed to whom?
  • Why did you decide to have a long or short engagement?
  • Where was the wedding held?
  • How many people attended your wedding?
  • Did each of your parents attend?
  • Who were the groomsmen and bridesmaids
  • Where was the honeymoon?
  • When is your anniversary?
  • When is your spouse’s birthday?
  • How much time do you spend with each other?
  • Who handles the finances?
  • Do you live together or plan to live together?
  • Where did your spouse go to school?
  • What was your spouse’s major?
  • Who is your spouse’s employer?
  • What is your spouse’s position?
  • How long has your spouse been working for his/her current employer?

Why was my green card application denied?

There are many reasons why green card applications are denied.

Common reasons for denial include:

  • Failing to establish an authentic and valid marriage
  • Making a mistake in your green card application (e.g., missing information on forms, missing signatures, photograph and documentation issues, insufficient fees, etc.)
  • Insufficient financial resources
  • No eligibility due to criminal records, medical conditions, and even misrepresentations
  • Inability to apply for a green card within the U.S.

Can I work in the United States while I am applying for my green card?

If you have a valid work permit, you may continue to work in the country while waiting for your green card.

What is a Visa Bulletin?

Every month, the U.S. Department of State issues the Visa Bulletin, announcing which green card applications can move forward, according to when the green card process started (after filing the I-130 petition). There are certain caps on green cards issued each year.

What is a biometric screening?

Biometrics appointments are short and easy, and involve checking government records for any prior immigration violations or past criminal history. A government representative will record your fingerprints and take your photo and signature.

If you are interested in obtaining a green card in Greer, SC, call Colón Law Firm today at (864) 697-2870 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule an initial consultation. Serving clients in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties!