What to Do After getting Your Green Card

Applying for a visa in the United States can be a very arduous task.  If the USCIS grants your visa you may wonder what happens next?  Depending on the type of visa the U.S. issued to you, there may be different requirements to maintain your residency.  For example, investor visa holders may need to petition to remove conditions on their residency status so that they can attain a green card.

If you were issued a green card, here are a few things you should know about renewal, removing conditions, and the benefits of your card.

Renewing/Maintaining Permanent Residence

First, your green card likely is valid for a period of ten years.  Likewise, you should always try to renew your card at least six months prior to its expiration.  You can renew your card by filing an application to replace a permanent resident card (Form I-90) by mail or online; however, if you have a 2-year conditional green card you should NOT file Form I-90.  Instead, you will have to file for removal of conditions.  Additionally, if your permanent residency card is lost, stolen, or destroyed you can file Form I-90 for a replacement card as well.

Removing Conditions on Your Green Card

Conditional permanent residency cards are valid for two years.  If you are an investor, you should file Form I-829 to remove conditions on your residency status.  This will also trigger your transition to permanent residency.  On the other hand, if you have family-based conditional residency, you should file Form I-751.  Regardless, you should file either form during the 90 days before the card expires.

Benefits of Your Green Card

After attaining your green card, you can use your green card to prove employment eligibility, and to apply for a Social Security Card and state-issued driver’s license.  Furthermore, your green card is valid for readmission to the U.S. if you travel abroad; however, if you travel for more than one consecutive year abroad, you must apply for re-entry.

If you have questions regarding the application process for obtaining residency in the United States, please contact us.  Our experienced immigration attorneys at Boyer Law Firm look forward to assisting you.

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