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Homeland Security

Get a Green Card

Happy, Cheerful workersA Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants a person a permanent resident card, commonly called a "Green Card."

You can become a permanent resident several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents through refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs. In some cases, you may be eligible to file for yourself.

Next Steps

USCIS provides thorough information on how to apply for your green card.

  1. Visit the Green Card Eligibility webpage to learn if you are eligible.  
  2. Visit the Green Card Based Forms page for details on which forms you will need to complete and submit in order to apply for your permanent residence status.
  3. Follow form instructions to submit application for you green card. Make sure to follow all of the instructions or USCIS might not be able to process your application.


USCIS provides an excellent resource tool for new immigrants called, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants. This guide is available in 14 different languages. It provides information you will need to know about keeping your permanent status and adjusting to life in your new country.

Last Published Date: July 19, 2015

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