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UNITED STATES LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCY, informally known as GREEN CARD, is the immigration status of a person authorized to live and work in the United States
United States
of America permanently. Green cards are valid for 10 years for permanent residents, and 2 years for conditional permanent residents. After this period, the card must be renewed or replaced. The application process may take several years. An immigrant usually has to go through a three-step process to get permanent residency that includes petition and processing.

A United States
United States
Permanent Resident Card ( USCIS Form I-551), formerly known as Alien Registration Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (INS Form I-151), is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States. Owing to its green design from 1946 until 1964, it is known informally as a "green card", a nickname it retained even after the color was changed. The card was restored to green in 2010. "Green card" also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident. The green card serves as proof that its holder, a lawful permanent resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, including permission to reside and take employment in the United States. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met.

Green cards were formerly issued by the Immigration and Naturalization
Naturalization
Service (INS). The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107–296, 116 Stat. 2135) dismantled INS and separated the former agency into three components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The first, the United States
United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), handles applications for immigration benefits. Two other agencies were created to oversee the INS's former functions of immigration enforcement: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP), respectively.

Permanent residents of the United States
United States
eighteen years of age or older must carry their actual green card at all times. Failing to do so is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, carrying the possibility of a fine up to $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days for each offense. Only the federal government can impose these penalties.

Cards issued between January 1977 and August 1989 do not have document numbers or expiration dates and are valid indefinitely.

CONTENTS

* 1 Reading a permanent resident card * 2 Path to U.S. citizenship

* 3 Types of immigration

* 3.1 Immigration eligibility and quotas

* 4 Application process

* 4.1 Application process for family-sponsored visa for both parents and for children

* 4.1.1 Green-card holders and families

* 4.1.2 Improving the application process in obtaining a green card

* 4.1.2.1 Challenges with processing time of application * 4.1.2.2 Quota system challenges

* 4.2 Application process for employment-based visa

* 4.3 Green card lottery

* 4.3.1 Recent developments * 4.3.2 Crime: green card lottery scam * 4.3.3 Green card lottery e-mail fraud

* 4.4 Registry

* 5 Conditional permanent residence

* 5.1 Differences between permanent residents and conditional permanent residents

* 6 Abandonment or loss of permanent residence status

* 6.1 Tax costs of green card relinquishment

* 7 Visa-free travel for green-card holders * 8 See also * 9 References

* 10 External links

* 10.1 US Government immigration sites

READING A PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD

While most of the information on the card is self-evident, the computer- and human-readable signature at the bottom is not. The format follows the machine-readable travel document TD1 format:

* First line:

1–2: C1 or C2. C1 = resident within the United States, C2 = permanent resident commuter (living in Canada or Mexico) 3–5: USA (issuing country, United States) 6–14: 9-digit number (A#, alien number) 15: check digit over digits 6–14 16–30: 13-character USCIS receipt number, padded with

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