How many years must I live in the US to obtain residency?

How many years must I live in the US to obtain residency?

People who have lived several years in USA, have the right to request the home permanent card known as a Green Card, but to obtain it you must meet a minimum number of years of having lived in the foreign territory and a series of requirements.

What is the Green Card?

The Green Card is a document that guarantees a stay for an entire decade in the United States and is obtained by fulfilling a series of requirements.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) establishes that one of the main requirements is to have resided in the United States for five years before submitting the application.

But that’s not all, the documentation must support the applicant’s physical presence in the country for at least a year and a half in the five years prior to the date of the application.

Additionally, the applicant must live in the same district where they submitted their application to the USCIS, at least three months before starting the process, as this reinforces the bond between the applicant and the community, since the immigration authorities will evaluate this aspect.

Permanent residence eligibility categories

In order to apply for the Green Card, the applicant must be eligible under one of the categories indicated below:

  • Through the Family
  • Through a Job
  • Special Immigrant
  • Through Refugee or Asylum Status
  • Victims of human trafficking and other crimes
  • Victims of Abuse
  • Through other categories
  • Through registration: If you have resided continuously in the United States since before January 1, 1972.

Once you identify the category that fits your situation, you will need to visit the US page. Citizenship and Immigration Services and click on the corresponding section, where you will find the process to continue with the application to obtain residency.


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