A green card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is an official document that proves a non-citizen’s permanent residency status in the United States. Holding a green card allows an individual to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, as well as granting eligibility for certain benefits, such as social security and Medicare. Further, green cards can provide cardholders with a clear path to naturalization and becoming US citizens in the future.


There are several ways that a noncitizen can obtain a green card. The first step is to confirm eligibility. In order to be eligible for a green card, an individual must either be sponsored by a family member who is already a US citizen or permanent resident or must have an employment offer from a US employer. An individual can also obtain a green card in some cases if he or she has been granted refugee or asylum status in the United States; if he or she is randomly selected via an annual Diversity Visa Lottery; or through other special categories. If you are unsure of your eligibility status, you would likely benefit from working with an immigration lawyer for a green card.

“A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” recipient is defined by immigration law as a person who has been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States. LPRs may live and work permanently anywhere in the United States; own property; and attend public schools, colleges, and universities. They may also join the Armed Forces and apply to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain eligibility and admissibility requirements.”

~ from Citizenship and Immigration Statistics: U.S.: Lawful Permanent Residents


The application process for a green card typically involves completing and submitting Form I-485, along with various supporting documents, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An interview with a USCIS officer might also be required.

Green cards are typically valid for 10 years but may need to be renewed before expiration. Note that some green cards may have conditions attached to them that require applying to have the conditions removed before expiration. For example, if an individual obtains a green card through marriage, he or she may receive a conditional card that is valid for only two years and must be renewed before expiring to avoid deportation.


Obtaining a green card can be an extremely complex process, with eligibility requirements varying depending on a person’s specific circumstances. Additionally, there are limitations on the number of green cards that can be issued each year in the US, and possibly also waiting periods for certain categories. If you would like to obtain a green card to legally live and work in the United States, an immigration attorney can help. Immigration attorneys can help you handle all manner of immigration issues including green card applications. He will be able to help you understand the process and handle the paperwork involved. 

Since immigration law is very complex, having an experienced immigration lawyer to assist you is key. If you need a reputable immigration lawyer in South Texas, consider securing the services of Manuel “Manny” Guerra of Guerra Law Firm, P.C. You can trust the caring and competent counsel at Guerra Law to be professional and thorough. Contact Guerra Law Firm, P.C. online at any time to speak to an immigration lawyer for green card costs and for more information.