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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 alien who plans to live indefinitely and permanently in the United States. This visa must be obtained before traveling to the United States. After entering the country on this visa, the alien 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 alien'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 alien is eligible to live and be employed in the U.S.
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.
- A Guide for New Immigrants
- Lawful Permanent Residents
- Conditional Resident
- USCIS Case Status Online
- USCIS Online Change of Address