Green Card Lottery – Playing to Win

Every year, the U.S. government randomly issues a specific number of green cards through a lottery known as the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery. ‘Winning’ the green card lottery means you will be given lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

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Green Card Benefits and Responsibilities

Most people refer to the process of obtaining permanent residency status as getting their green card. The green card is a card that is issued as proof that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted approval for you to be in the United States as a permanent resident. It is called a green card because prior to 1978, the residency cards that were issued had a greenish color. A green card is evidence that you have been approved for permanent residency status.

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Traveling & The Green Card – How Long Can You Stay Away?

You cannot remain abroad continuously for three years with a green card. Absences of more than one year create what’s known as a rebuttable presumption that the legal permanent resident (LPR) abandoned his or her status and therefore cannot use the green card to re-enter the United States. Although your green card allows you to stay outside the United States for a period of six months to a year, you may not remain abroad continuously for over one year.

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Green Card Process and U.S. Immigration Law

Going through the green card process under U.S. Immigration law is a daunting but rewarding task. There are two general ways of becoming a lawful permanent resident. One is through consular processing. The process used by most who are already in the U.S. for immigration purposes is called the green card process. The first step is to understand some of the basic immigration terminology.

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