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Difference Between Visa and Green Card

Visa vs Green Card

A major difference between a visa and a green card is that a visa is the right to enter the United States of America whereas a green card means the person has a permanent residence in the United States of America. There are types of visa such as B-1 business visa, B-2 tourist visa and K-1 fiancé visa. A visa allows the person to visit the United States for a set period of time whereas a green card is necessary to be obtained for the person to live and work here.

A visa is of a temporary status whereas a green card gives a permanent status to the foreigners to live and work in the United States. The permanent residence card or green card is issued for the period of ten years whereas a visa is issued for a period of a few months. The expiration of green card is a serious issue and a green card should be renewed immediately.

A green card is an identification card for those who do not have American citizenship. An individual who is a green card holder can enjoy the same kind of facilities as the local citizens such as social security benefits, health insurance profits or lower education fees etc. This is not affected by the nationality of his birth country and at same time he can manage to maintain permanent residence in the United States.

An individual with a visa has the permit to visit different cities of United States. The individual can enjoy his stay and after the visa is expired he has to leave the country. The individual may also reapply for another visa to obtain rights to enter US territory after sometime. Immigration visa and non-immigration visa are the two categories of a visa. In the first category the person can apply for a green card whereas in the second category the person is required to fulfill the reason of his stay and then leave for his own country. The reason of stay could be medical treatment, tourism, business, study or temporary work.

Green card is hard to obtain for some countries whereas visa is usually easier to obtain such as study visa or tourist visa etc. Individuals with green card have the facility to move in and out of United States freely. Green card holder citizens have the right to remain outside the United stated for a specific period and then return within the time limit. After a certain time, the green card holder individuals are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship and obtain the rights to petition for their spouses and unmarried children under the age of twenty-one years for a green card. Green card can be applied through the family in the United States. It can also be obtained through an employer or Green Card Lottery that provides 55,000 individuals to avail the opportunity to obtain green card every year.

Green card is a lawful resident status awarded permanently to an individual who can also apply green card for his family members.
Visa card holders have to leave the territory of United states after the card expires.
Green card holder can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time.
Visa is obtained to legally enter the United States for the purpose of medical treatment, tourism or business etc.
Visa falls into two categories which are the immigration and non-immigration visa.

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