Is the US Visa also the permanent resident card or is that a different card?

A U.S. visa, and a Permanent Resident Card (also known as Green Card) are different from each other. Each has its own purpose and eligibility requirements.

U.S. Visas are fundamental for anyone looking to travel to the United States. Typically in the form of a stamp or label placed in the passport, this travel document must be applied for ahead of time and issued by a US Embassy or US Consulate General in the traveler’s country of residence and in accord with their actual citizenship. A visa is only a temporary pass that lets you enter the United States and remain there for a specified period of time for a specific purpose.

Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, (I-551)  is an identity document which shows that a person has permanent residency in the United States. Green card holders are formally known as lawful permanent residents (LPRs). A person is eligible to apply for permanent residency status in the US if they have legally remained in the United States for three years.

Although some Permanent Resident Cards, contain no expiration date, most are valid for 10 years. If you have been granted conditional permanent resident status, the card is valid for 2 years. 


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