A visa allows you to enter the country and temporarily live here, while a permanent resident card, i.e., “green card,” can extend your stay indefinitely.
Many people don’t understand how to qualify for a green card. This can obviously lead to mistakes in their attempts to legally enter and live in the United States. There are many myths about the process that could lead to wasted time and financial resources.
For example, most people know that if they have lawfully entered the country, they could apply for an adjustment of their status to ask for a green card. Does that mean that only those already in the United States can become permanent residents?
Qualified applicants can seek green cards while living elsewhere
The more people there are applying for green cards or adjustments of their status, the longer the processing takes. In situations where there are many domestic applicants, green card requests from those living in their home countries sometimes move more quickly.
Instead of going to an overworked United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, immigrants living in other countries can visit the nearest United States Embassy or consulate for interviews and all the necessary paperwork. For some applicants, green card approval can come within a few days or weeks of their interviews.
Where you live will matter less than your health, your criminal background and your reasons for wanting to enter the country. Understanding how to secure a green card is the first step toward becoming a permanent resident of the United States.