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Immigration Law: Green Card Basics

Green Card Basics

A “Green Card,” is a permit allowing a foreign national to live and work permanently in the US. In the modern U.S. immigration framework, the wait for many green card applicants can be as long as ten years or more. For a few lucky persons, however, that wait may be as short as 15 days.

What makes the difference in these cases? A crucial concept called “Immigrant Visa Preference Categories.” U.S. immigration laws create specific preference categories under which foreign nationals might qualify for and be assigned a so-called "immigrant visa number." Immigrant visa numbers are, in essence, spots in the waiting line for a green card. Some categories are “easier” than others in that one category might have no delay in available immigrant visa numbers, while other categories might have a ten to 15 year wait for visa number availability.



5 Ways to Get a Green Card from attorney Arthur Serratelli

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Susanna Marlowe
Franklin County Law Library Reference Librarian