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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization functions and establishing immigration service policies and priorities. Questions regarding permanent resident cards (“green cards”) and status should be directed to USCIS. The USCIS website provides useful information for Permanent and Conditional Residents.
The purpose of this website is only to help and direct you to information about U.S. Permanent and Conditional Residents.
Difference Between an Immigrant Visa and a Green Card
An immigrant visa is for an noncitizen who plans to live permanently in the United States. This visa must be obtained before traveling to the United States. After entering the country on this visa, the noncitizen will be granted Permanent or Conditional Resident status. A permanent resident card (“green card”) is issued by USCIS after admission and is later mailed to the noncitizen’s U.S. address.
A Permanent Resident Card (I-551) is proof of lawful permanent resident status in the United States. The card may also serve as a valid identification document and proof that the noncitizen is eligible to live and work in the United States.
Green cards can only be issued or replaced in the United States and can never be obtained overseas.
NOTE: While every effort has been made to ensure the quality and accuracy of the visa information contained in this site, all content is subject to change without notice. The Embassy makes no warranty, express or implied concerning the information provided. For information regarding Lawful Permanent Residents, please visit USCIS website.