The United States issues more than one million green cards each year. As of 2019, there are an estimated 13.6 million green cardholders in the United States.

A green card is an identification card for indicating that an alien is authorized to live and work on a permanent basis in the United States. Green card holders are required to always carry their permit with them. Let’s take a look at the types of green cards available.

Types of Green Cards

There are three types of green cards available. The type of card a foreign person applies for is based on their purpose for being in the United States.

Commuter Green Card

This is a card for foreign citizen legal residents who have decided to remain working within the United States but reside in a foreign country, usually Mexico or Canada.

Commuter aliens can not sponsor others for green cards, nor are they allowed to apply for naturalization until they establish residency within the U.S. Commuter aliens are identified by a category number on their green card that starts with “C2.”

Conditional Green Card/Marriage Green Card

This green card allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen or green card holder to live and work in the United States. Marriage does not guarantee approval.

To obtain a green card the applicant must establish a marriage relationship and complete the application process. The green card interview experience may cause some spouses to become nervous but is a normal requirement.

The conditional green card is only valid for two years and cannot be renewed. Ninety days prior to the expiration date the conditional permanent resident must apply to have the conditions removed.

If the application is approved, the holder will be issued a 10-year permanent resident green card. The conditional permanent resident is designated on their green card with a category number that begins with “CR”.

Permanent Resident Card

A permanent resident card is obtained through the workplace, family reunion, or by winning the green card lottery. It is valid for the person’s lifetime but must be renewed every 10 years. The holder has permanent residency in the U.S. and is free to live and work anywhere in the country.

Permanent green card holders are identified by “C1” before their category number. They are qualified to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years, can vote in certain elections, must file with the IRS, and have no restrictions on social security, pensions, and are entitled to Medicare after living in the U.S. for five years.

The holder’s green card automatically becomes invalid if the holder stays outside the United States for longer than 364 days without approval, becomes a U.S. citizen, commits a crime, or violates immigration law.

Apply Today

Now that you know about the types of green cards, if you are considering marriage to a foreign citizen, are a green card holder interested in citizenship, or want to apply for a green card, now is the time to take that step. Don’t hesitate, do it today. If you have any further questions feel free to check out other blogs on our page.

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