How Do You Get a Green Card?


Receiving a Green Card involves completing the necessary forms and submitting them to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for approval. In order to be eligible for permanent residence, an immigrant must meet certain eligibility criteria as set forth by the Department of Homeland Security, notes USCIS.

Eligibility requirements for those seeking a Green Card include having an immigrant visa available, having an immigrant petition filed and approved, and being eligible for one of the immigrant categories set by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Immigrants may be eligible for a Green Card if they are family members of U.S. citizens, have received a job offer to work in the United States, or are in the country based on refugee or asylum status. If one or more of the criteria are met, visit the USCIS website or any immigration office to obtain the forms needed for a Green Card.

  1. Fill out the forms
  2. Download the forms from the USCIS website or request them by calling 800-870-3676. The forms are free. Fill out each form in its entirety, remembering to sign each one. Applications without a signature will not be accepted, according to the USCIS.

  3. Pay the fee
  4. Although the forms are free, there are fees to file, depending on the forms. Fees are payable using personal checks, bank drafts, and certified or cashier's checks. Make checks payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  5. Take the tests
  6. Once the forms are accepted, immigrants will be required to take the naturalization test to become citizens. This test covers United States government and history and study materials are located on the USCIS website.