Understanding the difference between a green card and a visa can be a bit tricky, and you may need the help of immigration lawyers in the Fort Worth, Texas area if you find yourself in need of either. If you don’t understand the nuances between the two, or if you have erroneously procured the wrong document and find yourself in need of a quick remedy, our immigration lawyers are here to help. Let’s break down the differences between these two documents so you know which one best suits your needs.
While both a green card and a visa are documents issued by the government, they grant extremely different rights and privileges to the holders. The main difference between a green card and a visa is that a green card allows an individual to work in the US and remain in the US for an indefinite period of time. In contrast, the visa is for a more temporary stay and you may or may not be able to work during that time.
Visas and green cards are frequently confused as visas are often considered to be a kind of immigrant visa. The crucial difference is that traditional visas only permit the holder to stay temporarily and are considered a nonimmigrant.
Generally issued at US embassies and consulates in other countries, visas allow individuals to travel to a United States port of entry and request permission to enter. Most of these are non-immigrant visas and are issued to people who will only be in the States on a temporary basis. These are mostly tourists, temporary workers and students, though usually students and tourists are not permitted to work while in the country. In order to work in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, you need to have a qualifying occupation, such as an unskilled laborer, a religious worker, or some kinds of college-educated professionals who will also qualify.
It’s important to remember that your visa will eventually expire so you need to either renew it or leave the country. There are certain kinds of nonimmigrant visas that allow you to apply for a green card while authorized under a temporary visa, which is a rule referred to as the dual intent doctrine.
If you are seeking a green card or a visa, you should first consult with immigration lawyers in the Fort Worth, TX area. Attorney Nathan Christensen has years of experience assisting workers, students, and visitors with obtaining the appropriate visas or green cards. To set up a consultation, call (972) 497-1017 today.