If you want to live permanently in the U.S., you have several options for achieving permanent residence. One of these options is acquiring a permanent resident card, or a Green Card.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a Green Card provides you with authorization to work and live in the U.S. permanently. There are several ways you can obtain a green card, including when your employer sponsors you, you achieve refugee or asylee status or you file individually.
Green Card eligibility
If you want to apply for a Green Card individually, applying through family could be a beneficial option. You could become eligible for a Green Card if, for example, you have an immediate relative who is already a U.S. citizen, you are the fiancée of a U.S. citizen or you are a widower of a U.S. citizen.
Applying for a Green Card
The process for applying for a Green Card can be lengthy. First, you must determine if you are eligible for a Green Card and file an immigration petition. Once you do this, you must file Form I-485 and attend an Application Support Center appointment. After completing these steps, you will receive a decision. If applicable, you may need to attend an interview or submit additional evidence before receiving your decision.
If you did not receive a Green Card after submitting your original application, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will let you know the reason for the denial. You may then be eligible to file a motion to either reopen or reconsider your case, but you cannot appeal the decision.