Immigrants seeking permanent U.S. residency know that the immigration process can be long and complicated. By the time you receive your green card, you have probably had to fill out many forms, follow many steps and wait quite a long time to obtain your permanent green card.
A permanent green card authorizes you to live and work in the U.S. Receiving one should be a cause for celebration. You have completed all of the necessary steps and tackled all of the requirements and are ready to begin your new life as a valid, permanent U.S. citizen.
Removing any conditions
However, there are a few things you may need to do after receiving your permanent green card. If your temporary green card was conditional, you must have the conditions removed.
A temporary green card lasts 2 years. It cannot be renewed and may have conditions attached to it. You must apply to have these conditions removed 90 days before the expiration of your temporary green card.
If you are unsure of your expiration date, there is a filing calculator available online through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Working with an immigration attorney from the beginning of the process can also help you stay on track with deadlines and requirements.
Replacing your card
Additionally, you will need to replace your temporary green card with your permanent green card. This is a relatively simple process that involves filling out and applying for a replacement card.
Once you’ve replaced your temporary green card with your permanent one, and removed any conditions, you are all set. You can now use your green card to apply for a driver’s license, obtain a social security card, or purchase real estate as proof that you are legally able to work in the U.S.
A permanent green card also provides additional benefits. You can now sponsor other family members for a green card, travel outside of the United States and even own a business.