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family based informationThe United States is a nation built on immigration. From the Pilgrims in 1620 all the way through the end of the 20th century, people from all over the world have come to the United States seeking a better life. While the United States has only 5% of the world’s population, 20% of all international migrants live in the U.S. Whether they arrive for business or family based immigration, the people of this country should be welcoming new residents.

In order to become a permanent resident, a person must obtain a green card. An average of 1,001,715 green cards are distributed annually, allowing people to live and work in the United States. People who participated in business immigration, such as those who have been offered a permanent job and business people who wish to invest in a company in the United States, are just as eligible for green cards as people participating in family based immigration.

Obtaining a green card is not as easy as it sounds, and many applicants would benefit from a consultation with a good immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will know common green card complications and help their client correctly fill out the appropriate paperwork.

Conditions on green cards can make life a little more difficult for non-citizens. Green card holders will need to apply for re-entry if they travel outside the United States for more than a year. Green cards must be renewed every 10 years. Conditional residents’ green cards expire every two years, and cannot be renewed until the condition is removed. If you are worried that your green card might be conditional, visit an immigration law office, and they will help you determine the best path to removing the conditions.

While the process to obtain a green card may be difficult, the benefits of becoming a permanent resident are great. Permanent residents are permitted to vote, obtain state drivers’ licenses, and obtain and keep employment. A green card is also required to obtain citizenship by naturalization, as applicants are required to have been a permanent resident for three to five years, depending on how they obtained it. For immigrants wishing become United States citizens, obtaining a green card is the first step to making the U.S. home.