U.S. immigration law can prove quite complex and confusing. With that stated, many people in California and elsewhere in the country are unsure whether any real or substantial differences exist between a green card and a visa. The fact is that there are.
What is a green card?
A green card is a document issued by the United States government. It bestows upon a foreign national the status of being a permanent U.S. resident. The technical name of a green part is “permanent resident card.”
What is a visa?
A visa is a legal document that permits people to present themselves at a U.S. port of entry. The document demonstrates that a U.S. consular office in the bearer’s nation of origin has determined that the individual is eligible to seek entrance into the United States for a stated purpose.
A visa permits a person to enter into the United States for a specific purpose and for a defined period of time. Examples of why a person might be granted a visa to the United States include:
- Travel or leisure
- Family connections with a citizen
As mentioned, one type of visa is designed for immigration purposes. Legal issues surrounding immigration, a green card or a visa can be complex and unnerving. As a consequence, a person facing an immigration issue or problem is best served by seeking professional assistance from an experienced immigration lawyer.