FAQs and Guide on U.S. Green Card-03.jpg

This is a guide on the U.S. Green Card, which is developed in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) format. In this guide, we address common queries and concerns about on U.S. Green Card, aiming to provide clarity and guidance to individuals navigating the complexities of the process. This information is based on the understanding of the "Beporsed" team from various sources and is not legal advice. This guide is updated on 5th February 2024. For legal guidance and advice, we recommend consulting official sources. A U.S. Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, grants an individual permanent residency status in the United States, allowing them to live and work in the country indefinitely. It serves as proof of lawful immigration status and provides numerous benefits, making it a highly sought-after document for individuals aspiring to establish long-term ties to the United States.

Join us as we navigate the essential questions surrounding the U.S. Green Card, empowering individuals with knowledge and support on their journey to resettlement.


What is a U.S. Green Card, and why is it important?

A U.S. Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, grants an individual permanent residency status in the United States, allowing them to live and work in the country indefinitely. It serves as proof of lawful immigration status and provides numerous benefits, making it a highly sought-after document for individuals aspiring to establish long-term ties to the United States.

Obtaining a Green Card holds significant importance for immigrants seeking to build stable lives in the U.S. It opens up a wide range of opportunities, including eligibility for employment in any sector, access to education and healthcare benefits, and the ability to sponsor family members for immigration. Additionally, Green Card holders enjoy certain legal protections and rights, such as the ability to travel to Afghanistan and other countries and freely get in and also pursue a path to U.S. citizenship through naturalization after meeting residency requirements.

Beyond its practical benefits, the Green Card represents a milestone in an individual's immigration journey, symbolizing their commitment to contributing positively to American society and integrating into their local communities.


As a U.S. SIV applicant, how do I apply for a green card?

As a U.S. SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) applicant, the process for obtaining a green card differs from the standard procedure for other immigrants. Unlike traditional applicants who must separately apply for a green card after entering the United States, SIV recipients do not need to follow this route. The application for the SIV visa, typically submitted through Form DS-260, serves as the primary application for the green card.

The DS-260 application, filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), gathers essential information about the applicant and their eligibility for immigration benefits, including permanent residency (green card) status. Once the SIV application is approved, the applicant is granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States, commonly known as a green card holder.

It's important to ensure that all information provided in the DS-260 application is accurate and up-to-date, as any discrepancies or inaccuracies could impact the approval process. Additionally, applicants should follow any instructions or requests for further documentation or interviews from USCIS to facilitate the green card application process smoothly.

Overall, SIV applicants do not need to undertake a separate application process for a green card; their approved SIV application and entering to United States serves as the pathway to obtaining lawful permanent residency in the United States.


As an Afghan SIV applicant, how long does it take to receive the green card?

The timeline for receiving a green card (lawful permanent resident status) after being approved as an Afghan SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) applicant can vary. Typically, it can take up to 90-120 days to receive the green card in the mail after approval, according to guidelines. However, in practice, the process often takes longer, with an average waiting period of around 6 months.

Once your SIV application is approved and you are granted lawful permanent resident status, the green card will be mailed to the address provided in your DS-260 application. It's crucial to ensure that the mailing address provided is accurate and formatted correctly to avoid any delays or complications in receiving your green card.

In the event that you change your location or address after submitting your DS-260 application, it's essential to promptly inform the relevant department and update your address to ensure that your green card reaches you without any issues.

While waiting for your green card to arrive, it's advisable to regularly check the status of your application through USCIS's online tracking system and follow any instructions or requests for additional documentation to expedite the process.


I gave the wrong address for my green card. How can I correct or change it?

If you realize that you provided the wrong address for your green card delivery, it's crucial to take immediate action to correct or change it to ensure timely receipt of your document. You can rectify this issue by contacting the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office as soon as possible.

To correct or update your address, reach out to USCIS directly by phone at 1-800-375-5283. Be prepared to provide your case details and any relevant identification information to facilitate the address change process efficiently.

It's important to address this issue promptly to prevent any delays or complications in receiving your green card. USCIS will update your information in their records and ensure that your green card is mailed to the correct address.

Additionally, consider updating your address through USCIS's online portal, if available, for added convenience and efficiency. Regularly monitor the status of your green card application and follow any instructions provided by USCIS to ensure a smooth and timely delivery process.


Who are called Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) holders in the United States, and is having a Green Card required?

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) holders in the United States, commonly referred to as Green Card holders, are individuals who have been granted authorization to live and work in the country on a permanent basis. While possessing a Green Card is the most common way to attain LPR status, it's important to note that not all LPRs may physically possess the actual Green Card at all times.

LPR status can be obtained through various means, including family sponsorship, employment sponsorship, refugee or asylum status, or through other humanitarian programs. Regardless of how LPR status is obtained, individuals granted this status enjoy nearly all the rights and benefits of U.S. citizenship, with the notable exception of the right to vote and hold certain federal jobs.

Mostly the refugees enjoy many benefits and rights similar to citizens, such as the ability to live and work permanently in the U.S., but they do not possess the full spectrum of privileges and protections afforded to citizens.


Who are called AMCIT holders in the U.S.? Is having a Green Card required?

"AMCIT" stands for American Citizen, referring to individuals who hold citizenship in the United States. Unlike Green Card holders, who are permanent residents, AMCIT holders have full legal rights and privileges as citizens, including the right to vote in elections, hold public office, and receive consular assistance while abroad.

AMCIT holders encompass individuals who have acquired citizenship through various means, such as birth within U.S. territory (jus soli), birth to U.S. citizen parents (jus sanguinis), naturalization, or through other provisions of U.S. immigration law.

Having a Green Card is not required for AMCIT status, as Green Card holders are lawful permanent residents, not citizens. However, Green Card holders may pursue citizenship through the naturalization process, which involves meeting eligibility criteria, including residency requirements, language proficiency, and passing a civics test.


Can I travel back to Afghanistan with my US green card?

Yes, as a green card holder, you have the freedom to travel internationally, including to Afghanistan. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind before planning your trip:

  • While you can travel to Afghanistan with your green card, it's essential to note that you should not stay outside the United States for more than one year. Extended absences from the United States could potentially jeopardize your permanent resident status.
  • When returning to the United States after your trip to Afghanistan, you may face additional scrutiny from US immigration officials. Given that you previously applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) due to threats against your life in Afghanistan, immigration authorities may inquire about the purpose and duration of your trip.
  • Before traveling, ensure that you have all necessary documents, including your valid green card, valid passport, and any other required travel documents. Additionally, consider carrying documentation that supports the purpose of your trip and your ties to the United States, such as employment or property ownership.
  • Afghanistan is known for its volatile security situation, and travel to the country may pose significant risks, especially for individuals who were previously targeted due to their affiliation with the United States.


Can I stay outside the USA for more than one year with my green card?

Yes, you can travel outside the United States for more than one year with your green card, but there are important factors to consider to maintain your permanent resident status:

  • As a green card holder, you are generally allowed to travel internationally for up to one year without jeopardizing your permanent resident status. However, if you plan to stay outside the US for longer than one year, you risk having your green card considered abandoned or revoked.
  • If you anticipate being outside the US for more than one year, you must obtain a reentry permit (also known as a "travel document") before departing. A reentry permit allows you to maintain your status as a permanent resident while living abroad for an extended period. You should apply for a reentry permit before leaving the United States.
  • To apply for a reentry permit, you must submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application process typically involves biometrics (fingerprinting) and may require supporting documentation to demonstrate your ties to the United States and the necessity of your prolonged absence.
  • While living abroad, it's essential to maintain strong ties to the United States, such as maintaining a residence, paying taxes, and continuing any employment or business interests. These factors can help demonstrate your intention to return to the US as a permanent resident.
  • Given the complexities of maintaining permanent resident status while living abroad, it's advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that you understand the requirements and implications of extended travel outside the US with a green card.


As a Green Card holder, is there any risk of being prevented from reentering the U.S. if I return to Afghanistan?

Yes, there are certain risks associated with returning to Afghanistan as a Green Card holder. If you stay outside of the United States for more than 12 months, you may be required to provide justification for your prolonged absence upon your return. Additionally, if you have been granted a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), arrived in the U.S., and then have your SIV case denied due to new information, such as fraudulent documents associated with your case, it can have severe consequences.

Such circumstances can impact your Green Card status and lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, potentially rendering you ineligible to reenter the U.S. Furthermore, there is a possibility that upon arrival at the U.S. border, immigration officers may deport you from the country.

Overall, while it is possible to travel to Afghanistan with your US green card, it's recommended to weigh the potential risks and considerations carefully. Additionally, staying informed about any travel advisories or warnings issued by the US Department of State is advisable.


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