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What Is The Difference Between A Green Card Holder And An Immigrant Visa?


If you are looking forward to traveling to the United States, you must be confused about various things. One of the most common things that people are often confused about is the green card and an immigrant visa. 

The concept may seem complex, but it is quite simple. Our blog here will tell you the meaning and purpose of this important document and when you might need them. Meanwhile, if you are trying to get an immigrant visa to travel to the US, hiring an immigration attorney Dallas can significantly help you throughout the process. 

What is an Immigrant Visa?

A visa is a document given out by US consulates or embassies to people around the world. They provide people a right to travel to the US. When you get approved for a visa, it simply appears as a stamp on your passport and is not physical documentation. Basically, this stamp is proof that you are legally allowed to enter the country. 

Upon getting an immigrant visa, a person is allowed permanent residency in the United States immediately after entry. They receive a green card soon after reaching the US, which allows them to live in the country for life. 

Since this visa allows you to become a permanent resident of another country, naturally, the process is more extensive and difficult. 

What is a Green Card?

Green cards are physical cards indicating that the person is a permanent resident of the United States and is legally allowed to work in the country. You can only apply for a green card if you already have an immigrant visa and live in the United States. It is technically a permit by the US government to allow immigrants permanent residency in the country. 

Difference between a green card and an immigrant visa

Here are the following major differences between a green card and an immigrant visa

  1. Visas are to be obtained before travel, while green cards are obtained after arrival. 
  2. Visas can initiate the process of permanent residency while green cards confirm it. 
  3. Green card holders can apply for citizenship, but visa holders cannot. 
  4. A green card is a physical card, while a visa is just a stamp on your passport.

If you want to help a family member obtain an immigrant visa and a green card to come live with you in the USA, it can be done with the help of an immigration attorney Dallas.