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Permanent Residency in US

Obtaining the permanent resident status in the US can be the most significant event of your life. But as with many other things in life, this sounds much easier on the paper than in reality. A permanent resident is allowed to live and work in the US permanently. In an informal language, this refers to getting the green card from the US authorities.

Going from the Green card to being the US citizen

After holding the green card for a period of at least 5 years, you can apply for the citizenship of the US by the process of naturalization. If you marry a citizen of the US, this period is reduced to 3 years. Even after you get hold of the permanent residency status, you would still be an alien in the country and would not have the same rights as a citizen. That is why is it critical to get the complete citizenship once you are a green card holder for 5 years.

Some of the rights which aren’t available to the permanent residents, but are available to the citizens include the right to vote in the elections, the right to get elected in state and federal elections, the authorization to bring any of the family members to the USA or to apply for any jobs in the federal government.

Methods to apply for permanent residency

There are a number of ways to apply for the USA PR. Some of them are listed below here –

  • Immigration on the basis of investment made in the US (between half and one million US dollars)
  • Immigration on the basis of employment
  • Immigration after being attached to a family member who is in the US currently
  • Immigration on the basis of the Diversity Lottery. Also known as the Green Card Lottery, this visa is given to 55,000 applicants annually who are the citizens of those countries which, historically, have a low migration rate to the USA. Notably, the Indian citizens aren’t eligible for this lottery scheme
  • Immigration on the basis of asylum or refugee status granted by the government of the United States
  • Immigration on the basis of the approval given by the Director of Central Intelligence

Application process

The application process for obtaining the permanent residency of the US can be a long and tedious one. It is usually a three step process and you would be best advised to get professional guidance from someone who has been doing this task.

Perks of Green card

Apart from getting a number of rights in the US, the green card holders are also allowed to travel visa free to a number of countries. Some of these countries where the visa free travel rule would apply include Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Serbia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Taiwan, Caribbean Netherlands, British Virgin Islands and Belize.