What is Green Card?
Green Card is an Identity document also known as permanent resident card of United States. Anyone holding Green card shows that he/she is a permanent resident of US. Formally Green card holders are also known as lawful permanent residents. As per official record of 2019, there are more than 13.9 million green card holders, of whom 9.1 million are eligible for United States citizenship. Green card holders are officially entitled to apply for U.S. citizenship after showcasing certain proofs that they have been residing in the US for one to five years and they possess good character as a human being from which the society don’t have threats. Individuals younger than 18 years are auto eligible for U.S. citizenship if they have at least one U.S. citizen parent.
Rights and Responsibilities of Green Card Holder
Just like others Green card Holders also have certain rights and responsibilities as provided by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal agencies.
- They can permanently reside in US provided they do not commit any illegal and non-social actions.
- They can do job anywhere in US with few exceptions to federal jobs.
- Equal protection Rights provided by the law of the United States and other local jurisdictions.
- Sponsor other family members to immigrate to the United States as lawful permanent residents (Green Card Holder). Family members here include spouse and unmarried children.
Responsibilities for Green Card Holder
- Need to follow all laws of the United States strictly, including local and state law.
- Regular filing of ITR is required and should report Income to US tax authorities.
- Need to register with Selective Service System if gender is male and age group between 18-25.
Green card Backlogs
As per latest report from Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) there has been a sudden surge of around 4 % in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog in October,2022 as compared to previous months. Latest Green Card pending cases are touching 400,000 as compared to 384,600 from last month. Also, as per NVC we have seen the increase in number by 18000 in this month for the Green card applicants whose documents formality has already been completed and are ready for interview schedule. This is first instance in last five months that the number of documentarily complete (DC) cases increased for Green Card Applicants, although overall DC cases was on a downward trend since July 2021. Below are few key stats as on Oct,2022
- Total no of Green Card Applicants whose cases are documentarily complete at NVC and are ready for Interview schedule as of September 30,2022 – 435063
- Green Card Applicants (with DC Cases) for which Interview was scheduled for Oct,2022 – 35,777
- Eligible Green Card Applicants still pending Interview Schedule after Oct,2022- 399,286
Processing Time to clear Green Card Backlog
The Presidential Advisory commission has recommended the “White House” to remove all the backlogs of Green Cards by April 2023 and reduce the adjudication and processing of Green Card applications to not more than six months. This proposal if gets implemented would be a game changer and will benefit thousands of immigrant families mainly from countries like India and China. The recommendations were sent to White House Domestic Policy Council on August 24,2022, these are under review before they can be sent to President Joe Biden for final decision. The Presidential Advisory commission in his report said that National Visa Center (NVC) should have adequate facility and hire additional officers if required to increase their Capacity and reduce the processing time for Green card Application. They recommended to increase the capacity by 100 percent in next 3 months for starting from Aug,2022 for Green Card Application processing. Further to add, Green Card visa interviews and visa processing timelines should not exceed the targeted goal of six months.
The Immigration Services should also review their current process and policies to streamline the Green Card processing process. Target goal to process the Green card application should not exceed 6 months until there is a query by USCIS. For the exceptional cases, the USCIS and he Department of State (DOS) can continue to work on application processing outside the 6-month goal.
The committee also recommended to automatically extend work permit to 365 days instead of current 180 days work permit extension in case of renewal.