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EXPLAINED: Why US ‘Green Card’ is not green anymore



A green card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to individuals who have been granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

The green card was so named because it was green in color when it was first introduced in 1946. However, since then, the color of the card has changed several times and it is now usually pink or yellow. The name “green card” has remained in common use as a nickname, even though the card is no longer green.

This status allows individuals to live and work permanently in the U.S., and eventually, if they meet certain requirements, to apply for U.S. citizenship. A green card holder is also known as a lawful permanent resident.

Getting a green card can be done through various channels, including family sponsorship, employment sponsorship, investment, asylum or refugee status, or through a lottery program.

Having a green card confers certain rights and privileges, such as the ability to work, access to social services, and protection from removal from the U.S. However, it is important to understand that a green card does not provide full citizenship rights, and that it can be taken away if certain conditions are not met.

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