If you are an immigrant, your permanent resident card, also called a green card, may well be one of the most important documents you will ever own. USA,gov explains that this card, issued to you by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, grants you permanent resident status.
As a permanent resident, you have all the rights and privileges associated therewith. For instance, your green card gives you the right to work in the U.S. It also allows you to bring other family members into the country and to apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.
Applying for your green card
You can apply for a green card in a number of ways, including the following:
- Through your family
- Through your employer
- Through refugee or asylee status
- Through registry with the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, also known as the green card lottery
Once granted, your green card remains valid for 10 years.
Renewing or replacing your green card
You need to renew your green card once it expires or, better yet, within six months of the date on which it will expire.
There also may be circumstances under which you will need to replace your original green card. Some of these include the following:
- You lose, mutilate or accidentally destroy the original
- Someone steals the original
- You received the original when you were a child under the age of 14 and you are now age 16 or older
- The original contains incorrect information about you
- You legally change your name
- You failed to receive the original
Whether applying for, renewing or replacing your green card, be sure to obtain the information from a trusted source. Unfortunately, scammers may try to take advantage of you when you are unfamiliar with the various processes.