Staying permanently in the United States and enjoying almost the same rights as an American citizen, all without even a visa? Nothing is impossible if you are lucky enough to get a green card! Below is the essential to know about this amazing sesame.
WHAT IS THE GREEN CARD?
The American green card, or “green card”, is similar to a long-stay visa. This document, in reality of a color turning more towards pale yellow, automatically confers you the status of “permanent resident” in the United States. This implies many facilities on a daily basis compared to a conventional visa, including that of being able to exercise any professional activity without authorization.
Generally speaking, lucky holders of a green card have exactly the same rights as an American, with the exception of the right to vote. Having this card is a major advantage if your ultimate goal is to gain American citizenship: you can apply for it officially after five years holding the green card.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE GREEN CARD?
Beyond the elements detailed above, the US green card confers considerable advantages compared to a traditional immigrant. In particular, you will find it much easier to obtain a university scholarship for your children, and the tuition fees themselves will be slightly less exorbitant than for an international student. Given your quality as a permanent resident, you can also more easily obtain attractive rates for a mortgage. In short, everything will seem easier to start your life on the spot! In return, your tax residence will automatically be deemed to be in the United States. With the key, sometimes unfortunate consequences since the American tax authorities apply the principle of global profit to income tax and will therefore be interested in all of your income affected in the United States or abroad.
How much does the green card lottery cost?
Participation in the green card lottery is completely free! You just need to register on the official website, and only this one: DV lottery. State. gov. Beware of the many sites requesting financial participation.
HOW TO GET IT?
There are three ways to get the green card:
- By a family member with US citizenship. Any American citizen and adult (at least 21 years old) can in fact submit a request for a green card for their spouse, minor children or parents. Please note that the procedure has a high probability of succeeding but requires at least a year and a half! In the case of an adult child, a brother or a sister, this can be even longer.
- By an American employer. This concerns professionals with a specific profile or with high potential, but also investors and business leaders, renowned professors or even high-level athletes.
- By winning a lottery. Every year since 1994, the Diversity Visa Lottery Program distributes around 50,000 green cards, leaving it to chance! A way to give anyone a chance.
In the first two cases, the request must be submitted not by you but by your “sponsor” to the administration of the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).
I HAVE THE GREEN CARD! WHICH INSURANCE TO CHOOSE?
Do not forget to take out a good expatriate insurance before leaving: it will be much cheaper than American insurance, while putting you in good standing with regard to Obamacare legislation. A specialized insurer like Allianz Travel offers solid cover including up to € 150,000 for reimbursement of medical expenses and emergency hospitalization abroad in addition to your basic health insurance on site. Among the options available, you may be interested in a civil liability guarantee up to € 4.5 million or an individual accident guarantee.
The green card is the ultimate asset for settling sustainably across the Atlantic and starting a new life. Better, however, to combine it with good long-term insurance!