What Happens After Your Green Card Is Approved?

Permanent Resident Cards, more commonly referred to as “Green Cards” due to their green color, are issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to all those who have been approved for U.S. permanent resident status. A Green Card acts as proof that a person is authorized to both live and work in the U.S. Permanent residents who are age 18 or older are required to have a valid Green Card in their possession at all times.

When Your Green Card Is Approved

Finding out that you have been approved for U.S. permanent resident status is a great feeling. You are now authorized to live and work in the U.S. You enjoy certain protections and freedoms. You can use your Green Card to re-enter the U.S. should you travel outside the country. Once your Green Card application is approved, USCIS will mail you a welcome notice within 30 days after application approval. This welcome notice is officially titled “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.”

The welcome notice provides critical information for those new Green Card holders. The information included is extensive and includes things like:

  • Lists of Federal Government agencies and departments (along with the necessary contact information for each)
  • List of federal holidays
  • Your rights and responsibilities as a Green Card holder
  • How to maintain your permanent resident status without issue
  • Potential consequences for permanent residents engaging in criminal behavior
  • How to obtain a Social Security number
  • How to find a place to live in the U.S.
  • How to find a job in the U.S.
  • How to find childcare
  • How to get a driver’s license
  • How to open accounts with banks and other financial institutions
  • Information on U.S. government assistant programs
  • U.S. history and civics overview
  • How to become a naturalized U.S. citizen

Your Green Card should arrive within 30 days of receiving your welcome notice. This means that you should have to wait no longer than 60 days after approval of your permanent resident status to actually receive your Green Card. Should your Green Card fail to arrive within this time frame, you should get in touch with the USCIS Contact Center. If you have moved since your application was approved, you should also reach out to the USCIS Contact Center as having your welcome notice and Green Card mailed to the wrong address will delay your receipt of these things. Also, failure to pay all of the required fees associated with applying for a Green Card may also result in a delay of receiving your Green Card. Form I-485 alone carries filing fees ranging from $750 up to $1,225.

Contact Our Experienced Immigration Law Attorneys At NPZ Law Group

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact our U.S. immigration and nationality lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com