Immigration legislation is very rigid in the US. Attempts to cross the border illegally are persecuted, the perpetrators are deported. The main goal of all immigrants is a PR Card which allows living in the US for an unlimited time, empowers a foreigner with extensive rights.
What is a Permanent Resident Card?
A PR Card is a permit to live in the US. It has a greenish color. Hence its other name Green Card appeared. Officially, it is called the United States Permanent Resident. It is issued in form of a plastic card, contains personal info of the immigrant, his fingerprints, a digital photo, other data about the holder.
PR Card gives the foreigner almost equal rights with the Americans, except the following details:
- the possibility to participate in voting and elections is absent;
- it’s forbidden to leave the US for a long time (6-12 months) without important reasons;
- cancellation of the card and deportation from the state is possible in case of laws violation;
- restrictions on receiving privileges and aids have been established.
- possibility to visit and leave the country without additional documentation;
- a lifelong right to reside in the US. Although every 10 years card needs to be extended, you don’t have to give up your citizenship;
- saving on training owing to special discounts for immigrants, receiving of various grants financed by the authorities;
- the possibility of employment in any American company except structures related to state secrets where only Americans are hired;
- registering your own business in the US or buying an already operating company;
- social benefits for pensioners provided that they have worked in the US for more than 10 years;
- the right to bring your relatives (spouse, minor children) to the US;
- the ability to receive loans, register mortgages at low interest;
- more rapid resolution of many social and medical issues;
- free movement within the state;
- the possibility of buying firearms and real estate;
- reduced interest rates on taxes;
- the prospect of entering into US citizenship after 5 years.
- observe the American laws;
- declare your income annually and pay all taxes;
- support the US state administration system, do not commit actions aimed at changing the state structure of the country;
- men aged 18-25 should have the military records (they will not have to serve in the army, there is no conscription system in the US)
What advantages does PR Card grant
The holder of this document receives a number of advantages:
Obligations and limitations of the PR Card owner
In addition to a variety of rights, the immigrant receives a number of duties failure of which leads to a loss of status. You’ll have to:
Ways of application for PR Card
A candidate must have grounds for Permanent Resident Card application. Foreigners can use one of the following ways:
- Reunification with the family provided that your direct relative with an American passport resides in the US.
- Marriage with a US citizen. Documents confirming close relations between spouses will be required. It is necessary to pass the interviews with experienced psychologists before officials are convinced that marriage is not fictitious. Applicants can use family photos from a personal archive, information on common children as evidence.
- Employment in an American company. If an immigrant officially works in the US with a visa, and the company is interested in his services, the employer can apply to the immigration department for a residence permit for his employee.
- Receiving asylum. A foreigner can count on protection from persecution at home. Evidence of this fact will be required.
- Investments in the US economy. Their sum should exceed 500 thousand dollars.
- Studying in the USA. Such a path is a long but at the same time the most reliable option. First, a foreigner enters any American university, receives a diploma and finds a job on the basis of H-1 visa, then applies for a PR Card.
- Lottery. US authorities annually grant 55,000 PR Cards to citizens of countries with low-intensive immigration. In the autumn of each year, participants registration starts. Winners are selected randomly using special software.
When is it impossible to apply for PR Card?
Firstly, it concerns the state of health. A migrant can’t obtain a document if he has medical contraindications:
- presence of diseases or mental disorders dangerous for surrounding people;
- drug addiction;
- the absence of necessary vaccinations;
- the presence of a serious illness (because of the risk that the person will be on the state’s maintenance).
Secondly, problems with the law and migration legislation will call into question the move to the United States. This means that the applicant:
- committed a dangerous intentional crime;
- in the past, he was in the United States on illegal grounds for more than 180 days;
- he was deported from the country during previous trips;
- false documents were presented for visa registration, the fictitious marriage was fixed.
Where to get a Permanent Resident Card
You can fill in the PR Card application form in the embassy of the United States. Package of docs varies depending on the reason for receiving the card. The candidate passes an interview and a medical examination.
After the request is accepted, the candidate must travel to the US within next 6 months. At the border, a foreign passport with a visa is presented. After that, a temporary document is issued for 1 year. A permanent option with 10-year validity will be sent to your home address in the US.
If the document’s receipt took place in the US, you have to contact the immigration department where the applications are reviewed.
Documents needed for PR Card application
The main papers needed are:
- Online questionnaire. The document is printed, signed and submitted for an interview.
- International passport.
- A photo corresponding to the established requirements.
- Certificate of criminal records absence.
- Receipt for fee payment.
- Medical certificates.
Additional papers which may be required:
- documentation of financial solvency;
- certificates of birth, marriage or divorce;
- documents confirming family ties;
- invitation letter.
Permanent Resident Card validity and renewal
There are 2 types of cards: conditional and permanent. The first document may be used for 2 years. A person should meet some rules to get a permanent card for 10 years.
Six months before the end of a period, the holder must renew PR Card (application form I-90). Violation of this condition does not lead to a loss of status but will cause difficulties in finding a job, traveling abroad, buying a house, an apartment or a car, preparing a driving license. There are no fines for delay of application to renew PR Card in state law.
However, the issue of timely re-registration should be taken responsibly. Serious difficulties may appear when entering the US. Border guards will demand confirmation of your status and may prohibit entry into the country.
The last phenomenon is extremely rare but such cases occur sometimes. If the border guards will allow entry, you will have to pay a commission. So don’t forget to use the application form for PR Card renewal in prescribed time.
We hope that it was useful for you to find out what the PR Card is, what are the ways of its acquisition and when to fill in the PR Card renewal application.
Are there some questions about US permanent residence? Ask everything you want to know in comments.