What is a Green Card?
A "green card" is the commonly used term for an Alien Registration Receipt Card.
The main purpose of a green card is to identify the holder as a Legal Permanent
Resident (LPR) of the United States. LPRs have more rights than holders of
non-immigrant visas, such as tourist or exchange visas, yet they have fewer
rights than U.S. citizens. LPRs are required to make America their permanent
home, or they risk revocation of their green cards.
Note: A cardholder is permitted to travel outside the U.S.
with some restrictions.
How can an international student get a green card?
There are numerous ways for an international students can obtain
a green card. However, the two most common and simple ways
Why is it called Green Card?
- Employment-Based Preferences
- Green Card Lottery
As you may suspect, the design of the "alien registration" card has
changed over the years for various reasons, not the least of which
is preventing forgeries. In fact, the original Alien Registration Card
(Form AR-3) wasn't green either, but the 1940 law requiring all foreign
nationals to register didn't grant the same rights that today's green
Initially, the AR-3 was designed to assist in tracking aliens living
in the United States, but it didn't distinguish between permanent
and temporary residents. After World War II, the first green "green card"
(I-151)-the one from which the term derives-was created. Residents with
AR-3s who could prove legal entry into the United States received this card.
In 1951, new rights were granted to green card holders, but because
these new cards were so valuable, forged documents began to appear.
In 1977, the current green card, which is now pink, was made machine-readable
to prevent forgeries (I-551). This was the 19th version of the "green card."
The cards have been issued in pale blue, dark blue, pink, and pink-and-blue.
Source: Why Isn't the Green Card Green?