If you have come to the United States to flee your own country for reasons related to violence or persecution, you need to go through the proper steps for asylum eligibility. If granted, this allows you to legally remain in the U.S.
Although you do not have to apply for a Green Card once you receive asylum status, having one does provide certain benefits.
Benefits of a Greed Card over asylum status
One of the biggest benefits of applying for a Green Card is that, if approved, you become a legal permanent resident of the country. This allows you to leave and return to the U.S. easily, sponsor family members that want to live in the country and apply for citizenship in the future.
Green Card eligibility
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you may begin to apply for a Green Card after you have lived in the country for at least one year after your official asylum status. Other eligibility requirements:
- You must still meet the definition of a refugee or be a child or spouse of an asylee
- You have not resettled in another country
- The government has not terminated your asylum grant
- You are still admissible to the U.S.
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can fill out and sign form I-485. Find out which supporting documentation you need to send with your application, and pay the filing fee. After the USCIS receives your application, you will receive a notice and any additional requests, such as biometric services or an interview. Once the USCIS has approved your application, you will receive your Green Card in the mail within 120 days of the decision.