We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Green Card?

By Jane Harmon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A green card, also known as a greencard, is a document that identifies someone who is not a US citizen but has been given permission to live in the US permanently - it is also called a US Permanent Resident card. At one point, the green card was actually green, but, like the used-car guide known as the 'blue book', it has been various colors throughout the years. Today's green card is white.

The permanent resident non-citizen must carry his or her green card at all times since it may be necessary to prove that they are in the country legally. It can also be used to prove residency status when applying for work. Non-permanent resident aliens need an Employment Authorization Document to be legally hired by a US employer, but the holder of a green card has implicit employment authorization.

The green card is for many the first step on the road to naturalization and full US citizenship, and is highly sought after. The official green card has a number of anti-forgery features to prevent it from being easily duplicated. Getting a green card, or permanently immigrating to the US, can be a lengthy process, and not everyone can qualify for one. You can obtain a green card if you are closely related to a US citizen -- a spouse, parent, child or sibling. If you have a job offer within the US, it can help you qualify for immigration and permanent residency through employment.

One unique qualification for permanent resident status and a green card is through investment. If you are willing to invest in creating a business in the US that will employ at least ten people, you may qualify for a green card. You will be required to prove you have the necessary capital for the enterprise, of course. If you are from a country with a low rate of immigration to the US, you may take part in a lottery that authorizes 50,000 permanent residency visas a year.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By anon325171 — On Mar 14, 2013

My ex-wife married me to get residency in the U.S., and as soon as she got it, she divorced me. Is that legal?

By momothree — On Mar 22, 2011

@carrotisland- In addition, there is an immigration and non-immigration visa. With the immigration visa, the person is allowed to, after some time; apply for a green card during their stay in the United States.

The non-immigration visa mandates that the person fulfill their reason for being in the United States and then leave. They could be here for work, family matters, or any other temporary business.

By chrisinbama — On Mar 18, 2011

@carrotisland- There are a couple of differences in a green card and a visa. A visa gives someone the right to enter the U.S. A green card allows them permanent residency in the U.S.

There are a few different types of visas. There are business, fiancé, and tourist visas. A visa allows you a certain amount of time to be in the United States. It is only temporary.

The green card gives the individual a permanent home in the United States. However, the green card must be renewed after a period of ten years. It is a serious offense to be in the U.S. with an expired green card. Green card renewal is absolutely necessary.

By CarrotIsland — On Mar 15, 2011

I'm a little confused on the whole green card topic. What exactly is the difference in a green card and a visa?

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.