There will be particular stages and procedures to follow for each Green Card category. The following are some general processes and procedures to assist you in applying while in the United States (known as “adjustment of status”) or while abroad (known as “consular processing”).

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Eligibility categories for green card

Check to see if you qualify for permanent residency. Before you apply for your Green Card, be sure you meet all of the requirements.

Status adjustments

Immigrants obtain a Green Card by adjusting their status to that of a permanent resident while in the United States.

Consular processing

When immigrants are outside the United States or ineligible to modify status in the United States, they use consular processing to obtain their Green Card.

Synchronized filing

Someone may need to file a petition for you if you are applying for a Green Card through job, family, or as a special immigrant. When you file an immigrant petition at the same time as your Green Card application, this is known as concurrent filing. Find out what concurrent filing is and which categories are qualified to file simultaneously.

Availability of visa and priority dates

In general, you must first obtain a visa before applying for a Green Card. Visas are always available in some categories, but only a limited number are accessible in others. Immigrants in line for an immigrant visa are granted priority dates, which decide when a visa becomes available. Learn how to tell if you qualify for a visa.

Documents required for travelling

Find out if and when you can travel outside of the United States after applying for a Green Card or after receiving one. You can also get information on how to apply for advance parole, a Refugee Travel Document, or re-entry permission.

Documents for employment authorization

Find out if you qualify for work authorization in the United States and how to get an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Medical examination in case of immigration

A medical exam is required for the majority of Green Card applications. Learn who is required to complete a medical exam as well as the documents and procedures that must be followed.

Affidavit of support

When you apply for a Green Card or an immigrant visa, a sponsor files an affidavit of support on your behalf. Before becoming a permanent resident of the United States, it is required for some (but not all) types of immigration. The goal of the form is to demonstrate that you have the financial resources to live in the United States without relying on government assistance or benefits.

Public charge

Most immigrants must demonstrate that they will not become a public charge in order to obtain a Green Card. Find out more about the public charge.

Child status protection act

Whether you are eligible for a Green Card as a “kid” depends on your age. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) allows some children who have reached the age of majority (21 years or older) after an immigrant petition has been filed to apply for a Green Card through their parents.

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