Filing for a Green Card: Process Overview
An immigrant to the United States who has been granted the right to live and work in the U.S. permanently receives a permanent resident card, also known as a “green card.” But no one receives it right away.
Steps to Get a Green Card
Are you a foreign-born person eligible for a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence) through a family member or an employer? Here's a preview of the application process.
Getting a Green Card: Consular Processing vs. Adjustment of Status
Learn about the two main procedural routes for getting a U.S. green card.
Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident - FAQ
Answers to common questions about the immigration rules and procedures concerning Adjustment of Status.
Paths to U.S. Permanent Resident Status
Learn about the most common ways a foreign national can become a permanent resident (get a green card).
View More Articlesarrow_drop_down
What You Need to File I-485 for Adjustment of Status
If you're adjusting status (to a permanent U.S. resident, or green card holder) you'll need to complete form I-485 and select the appropriate forms and documents to accompany it.
What If Documents for Your Green Card Application Are Unavailable?
If you're applying to become a legal permanent resident of the U.S., you'll need to submit certain documents to support your case. Here's what's expected of you if you can't get them.
Does a USCIS-Approved I-130 Petition Get You a Green Card?
You can't lawfully stay in the U.S. just because your I-130 petition was approved. It's only the beginning of a long process to become a permanent legal resident.
What Happens During Consular Processing?
A description of the final steps in the process of applying for a green card from outside the United States.
What Will They Ask at Your Green Card Interview?
Basic types of questions you should expect at your green card interview.
What to Expect at Your Adjustment of Status Interview
If you're adjusting status to a U.S. permanent resident (green card holder), you'll need to attend an interview with a USCIS official. Here's what you can expect.
Tips for the Green Card Interview Process
The final step of the process to become a legal permanent resident is the green card interview. Here are some tips to help you succeed.
Will Your Criminal Record Come Up in a Green Card Interview?
If you're applying for permanent residence in the U.S. and you have a criminal record, be sure to get professional legal advice about the consequences before you proceed through an interview.
Dealing With a Bad Green Card Interview
If you run into trouble with the official conducting your adjustment of status interview, these tips can help you prevent further trouble and protect your case.
What to Expect at the Green Card Medical Exam
If you're applying for permanent residence in the U.S. (a green card) you'll need to submit to a medical exam and be free of diseases of public health significance. Here's what happens.
Vaccination Requirements (and Exceptions) for Green Card Applicants
If you're applying for permanent residency in the U.S., you'll need to get up-to-date on your vaccinations.
Leaving and Returning to the U.S. With a Green Card
As a U.S. permanent resident, you're free to travel abroad - but there are some legal issues to be aware of.
Entering the U.S. on an Immigrant Visa
What to expect when you arrive in the U.S. on an immigrant visa to claim your lawful permanent resident status.
How to Speed Up the Green Card Application Process
Learn how to monitor your application and keep it moving through the system.
Why Is the Wait for a Green Card So Long?
There are a limited number of green cards available to certain categories of immigrants, forcing many to wait years before becoming eligible.
Must You Leave the U.S. to Wait For Your Green Card?
Find out who can stay in the U.S. through the whole process of applying for a green card.
Why Was My Green Card Denied?
Find out the major reasons that someone may be refused U.S. lawful permanent residence.
Options When Adjustment of Status (to Permanent Resident) Is Denied
If USCIS denies your adjustment of status application for a green card, or permanent residency, you might have some options to proceed with your case.
"Extreme Hardship" Waivers Following an Immigrant Visa Denial
If your application for a permanent, immigrant visa is on its way to being denied, an extreme hardship waiver might help you continue on the path to a green card.
How Much Will It Cost to Get a Green Card?
Application fees, legal fees, and other expenses that come with applying for U.S. lawful permanent residence.
Adjustment of Status (I-485) Fees and Lawyer Costs
If you're applying for a green card (permanent resident status) in the U.S., expect to pay at least two thousand dollars in filing and attorney's fees.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Green Card?
Though lawyers aren't a legally required part of the green card application process, they can be a huge help.
Green Card Application Process After Winning the DV Lottery
The first big question is, where should you file your green card application? At a USCIS office in the United States or at a U.S. consulate outside of the United States?
Financial Requirements to Get a DV Lottery Green Card
Applicants must overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility in order to get permanent residency after winning the "green card lottery."
Act Quickly on Diversity Visa Lottery Win, or Lose the Chance for a U.S. Green Card
How to deal with the possibility that, even though you win the lottery, that year’s green card allotment will be used up before your own interview is scheduled, and you will not receive a green card.
Need a lawyer? Start here.