US Immigration Visas
Approximately 1.2 million foreign nationals per year receive a Permanent Resident Green Card to live, study and work in the United States for an unlimited period of time. This includes around 500,000 US immigration visas issued to the family members of American citizens or US permanent residents; about 140,000 Employment-Based PR Visas; and approximately 55,000 Diversity Immigration Visas. In addition to the US immigration visas and Green Cards granted to foreign nationals who live outside of the United States, around 500,000 foreign nationals living in the USA receive Green Cards through “adjustment of status” (i.e., their status in the US is adjusted from temporary resident to permanent resident).
Permanent Resident Benefits
Live in the USA: As a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States, a Green Card holder can legally live in America in any of the 50 states and may travel between any of the states. Although many newcomers prefer to live in the US states with the largest immigrant populations (such as California, New York, Florida, Texas, etc.), a Green Card will allow you and your family to live in the US wherever you decide. Do you and your family want to live near the beautiful beaches of Hawaii? Would you like to look out the window of your home at the scenic mountains of Colorado? Perhaps, you prefer the warmth of Arizona’s sunny deserts? Can you imagine living in a picturesque New England town and watching the colorful changing of the leaves each season? Are you a “big city person” or would you rather live in the suburbs? Where to live in the US is your choice as a Lawful Permanent Resident!
Work in America: Green Card holders are also permitted to work in the United States, as well as start a business in the USA if they so desire and are able to do so. Immigrants living in America have been successful in every business sector and occupation, including arts and sciences, business, education, entertainment, healthcare and medicine, law, management, sports, etc.). Furthermore, immigrant entrepreneurs start 25% of all new US businesses each year and have founded 19% of the 100 largest companies in the United States (43% of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children). With a booming economy, low unemployment, and workers needed to fill openings for more than seven million jobs in the USA, this is a prime time for Green Card holders to work in America or launch their own startup companies!
US Education: The children of Lawful Permanent Residents receive a free public education from primary school through secondary school (high school). Immigrants can choose to send their children to private schools (religious or secular), but may have to pay the tuition themselves. Adults living in America with a Green Card also have access to excellent educational opportunities that are available at vocational schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities (public or private) across the United States. Although Lawful Permanent Residents and American citizens have to pay tuition and fees to attend public or private post-secondary educational institutions in the United States, there are many affordable schools, plus scholarships, grants or other financial aid may be available. Did you know that the largest number of top 10 and best 100 universities in the world are located in the United States, according to several annual reviews of higher education? Receiving a US education is an investment in the future which can open the door to many great career options for immigrants and their children.
Other Green Card Benefits: A Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States can enjoy most of the benefits that American citizens have. Besides being able to legally live, study and work in the USA, Green Card holders can get a Social Security Card, open a bank account, get a driver’s license, own a home or other property in the United States, sponsor eligible family members for a US visa, and travel outside of the country according to certain regulations. If a Lawful Permanent Resident gives birth to a child while living in the United States, that baby who is born in the USA will be an American citizen. After a Green Card holder lives in the USA for five years and meets other criteria, he or she can also apply to become an American citizen! Someone who is a citizen of the United States (whether born in the USA or a naturalized American citizen) can apply to receive a US passport, which can permit them to travel outside of the United States for long periods of time. A naturalized American citizen can also vote in elections; run for political office at the federal (except US President), state or local level; and apply for certain jobs in the USA that only an American citizen can have (e.g., for security reasons, etc.). The first step on the pathway to become an American citizen is to be granted a US Green Card!
You can learn more about different permanent resident visa programs by clicking on the relevant sub-tab under “Permanent Visas.” To find out if you qualify for a US immigration visa, click here!