The short and sweet

What is a green card? A green card is a physical, plastic card that allows a non-U.S. citizen to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. Officially, it is known as a permanent resident card, but informally, we call it a green card (the cards used to be green in color). The person that holds a green card is called a permanent resident (or green card holder). When someone talks about “applying for a green card”, they are referring to a series of steps that need to taken to make the U.S. your permanent home. While green card holders enjoy many of the privileges that citizens do, do not confuse it with citizenship. As a permanent resident, you continue to be a citizen of another country. If you want to become a U.S. citizen, getting a green card is the first step in the process (for the majority of people). To learn more about U.S. citizenship and its benefits, check out our Citizenship section. In this section, you will find all things green card related. We know it’s incredibly confusing, so we have done our very best to break it down for you.

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