Do I need an ESTA if I have a Green Card?

do i need an esta if I have a green card

You have a Green Card. But do you need an ESTA too? There seems to be a lot of confusion regarding this topic. Green card holders ask themselves if the ESTA is a requirement or not.

Here are some questions that we come across: Do American citizens need to apply for an ESTA ? Do I need an ESTA waiver even though I own a Green Card? Do permanent residents require ESTA?

The short answer is no. Green Card holders are exempt from applying for an ESTA and US citizens are also not required to apply the ESTA. If you are eligible for a Green Card and want to reside in the United States you will not need the ESTA nor a tourist visa. What you need is a permanent residence permit.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, this means that it works as an authorization to enter the country for a limited amount of time. A Green Card on the other hand is an immigration status that allows you to live in the United States.

Applying for the ESTA is actually really simple compared to the application process for a Green Card. If you only wish to travel to the United States as a visitor the ESTA can be requested online by filling out a form and using a valid e-passport. The Green Card process is much more demanding and requires other forms and conditions.

How do you apply for a Green Card? We are going to give you an overview of what a Green Card is, how you can apply for it and how you can obtain it. Continue reading just below:

Green Card: What is it exactly?

A Green Card is a term that stands for the United States Lawful permanent residency. A Green Card is an immigration status of a person that is allowed to work and live legally and permanently in the United States. This is the first step to becoming an American citizen.

Getting a Green Card is not a simple process. The steps required will vary depending on your situation and Green Card eligibility.

How do you get a Green Card?

Before you apply, you must ask yourself this: Am I eligible to apply for a Green Card?

The U.S. immigration laws present a variety of ways for people to apply for a Green Card. Here’s a list of Green Card Eligibility.

  1. Green Card through Family
  2. Green Card through Employment
  3. Green Card as Special Immigrant
  4. Green Card through Refugee or Asylee Status
  5. Green Card for Human Trafficking and Crime Victims
  6. Green Card through registry
  7. Green Card through Victims of Abuse

Most people who apply for a Green Card are required to fill in a form I-485. Another aspect to consider is that someone else usually must file a petition for you, often this person or institution is referred as a sponsor. The sponsorship can be from your employer or a family member.

The second question you must ask your yourself is, am I inside or outside the United States? The way in which you proceed will also be determined by your location, if you are in the United states you will have to use an Adjustment of Status application process. If you are outside the country, you have to go through a Consular Processing.

Requirements for a Green Card will vary depending on your individual situation. We do know however, that you must have a valid biometric passport and have your documents in order if you wish to qualify for this status.

What is the difference between a Visa and a Green Card?

It’s very easy to get confused between a visa and a green card. Technically speaking, a visa is a stamp on your passport or an additional document that grants you entry to the United States for a specific period of time.

As we previously mentioned, the Green Card is an immigration status that you are granted if you wish to live in the United States permanently and complete the process successfully. It’s important that you keep in mind that a Green Card is not a Tourist Visa. If you are granted a Green Card is because you are planning to live in the United States permanently not travel back and forth between two homes.

Remember: you do not need to apply for an ESTA if you are a Green Card holder. American citizens are also not required to apply for an ESTA, even if they live abroad.


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