Do you have questions about green cards and the green card processing times? A green card is just another way of saying Permanent Resident Card. The formal name of a green card is pretty self-explanatory. You become a permanent resident of the United States, and that status is for a lifetime. Your green card is valid for ten years, but you will need a renewal after that.
While you don’t necessarily need a green card to enter, work, or reside in the U.S., there are certainly many benefits to having one, including:
- Ability to apply for financial aid provided by the government for education.
- Ability to cut education costs; foreigners to the U.S. can pay up to four times higher than legal residents.
- Approval to work without sponsorship. When it comes to employment, those holding green card do not need to be sponsored by an employer. They have approval to work for any business or company residing in the United States, regardless of the job description or number of hours the job requires.
- Permission to leave and enter the country without fear of being denied reentry into the United States. However, you will need to keep your card with you at all times, and it is wise to keep track of each time you leave and reenter; always use the border checkpoint.
- Privilege of staring your own business and even establishing a corporation.
- Ability to receive Social Security benefits. Those obtaining permanent residence in the U.S. receive Social Security benefits upon retirement, that is, if they worked 40 quarters (10 years) prior to retiring.
- Protection in the case of unemployment or death. If you secured a green card for your family, it will be retained regardless of if you lose your employment or you become deceased.
- Ability to have the same rights as United States citizens, save the right to vote.
- Ability to sponsor a spouse and unmarried children (as long as they are under 21) to acquire lasting status.
- Qualifications to legally own what every other American does, such as cars, property, and even firearms.
Green Card Processing Times
The next question we come to is: what are the green card processing times? This is a question that all immigration lawyers hear frequently. It sounds like an easy question. However, this simple and easy question does not always have a straightforward answer.
There are many factors to consider when applying for a green card. The following must be taken under advisement: your personal documentation, your current status, how long you have been in the United States, if you have children here, if you will pass a background check, and how much time you have available.
Unfortunately, the green card processing times are inconsistent. The time frames for this can range from months to years. But there is good news—throughout the process you can have friendly, professional immigration lawyers with you every step of the way. If you are seeking more information about green cards and green card processing times, contact the Lee Law Firm today at (404) 892-8300.