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Green Card

How green cards, or Permanent Resident Cards, let non-U.S. citizens, including refugees and asylum seekers, live and work in America

A green card, officially known as Permanent Resident Card, is a work permit that allows recipients to stay and work in the United States indefinitely. They often last for 10 years and have to be renewed regularly. People become eligible for green cards through different avenues, including applying through family connections; as a “special immigrant,” a class of people that includes religious workers, physicians and translators for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan; as a refugee or asylum seeker; or as a victim of abuse and human trafficking. About 1.1 million people were issued a green card in 2019.

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