Understand the Green Card Application Process

When somebody applies for the Green Card Lottery, the process for applying for a green card is much the same. However, it is still helpful to understand how the system works. This blog aims to educate immigrants looking to make the United States their new home and learning about application methods could very well be indispensable information.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of Status refers to the situation in which a person can apply for a green card while inside of the United States. In this circumstance the applicant applies directly at the USCIS office.

There are some situations in which one can file for a green card in the United States, but these situations are relatively rare. In most cases when one enters the US without immigration intention they must then leave the country at the end of their visa validity.

People who enter the United States with dual intent visas can sometimes apply for adjustment of status. Dual intent is when one enters the US on a nonimmigrant visa that does not restrict one from being an immigrant as well.

The form used in adjustment of status is Form I-485, Application for Adjustment to immigrant status.

Consular Processing

Consular processing is the most common way to apply for a green card for winners of the Green Card Lottery. In this process, potential immigrants apply for their visas and green cards at the nearest US embassy or consulate to their current location.

This step is most often taken after it has been confirmed that a potential immigrant has either won the Green Card Lottery or has had their immigration petition approved and current.



Recreation and the Third Place

A Green Card allows you to live and work indefinitely in the United States, but what does it mean to live in the United States. It isn’t just breathing, eating and sleeping, rather social engagement is necessary for successful integration into the US.

There is a concept in most societies which is referred to as a third place. The first and second places would be work and the home, but what is there to do with the other third of one’s days? Third places exist to build community bonds and provide people with the chance to commune somewhere other than work and home.

A third place can really be anywhere one chooses to spend a large amount of time. There are a number of standard third places that you may even be able to identify from your home country.

Here are some examples of third places:

  • Barbershops
  • Bars
  • Cafés
  • Religious institutions like churches, mosques or synagogues.
  • Parks
  • Spas
  • Coffee shops
  • Or anywhere else where people can gather.

The purpose of these places is to connect people within a community and to provide very necessary socialization for the people.

Finding a third place in your community will help you better adjust to life in the United States. Moving to a new place is hard, you’ll be away from your family and friends, but the fortunate thing is that you can make new friends at third places.

After a few years of permanent residency, you can apply for citizenship and that will make it even easier to help your family immigrate to the United States. But until then you may find that adjusting to your new home will be easier if you can find some new friends to talk to and converse with.


The Empire State Building Built By Immigrants

The Empire State Building stood as the tallest man-made structure in the entire world and as a symbol of human achievement for forty years, this many people know, but did you know that it was built by immigrants?

At the time of the building’s construction, immigrants from Europe were streaming into the United States through the Ellis Island port in New York City. The informal intake system in New York did not ensure immigrants had jobs as soon as they entered their new home and they often were stuck within the city trying to scrape by with odd jobs.

However, when the construction of the Empire State Building began, labor was necessary and there were plenty of immigrants around willing to work on the project.

This was at the beginning of the Great Depression, a time in American history marked by great unemployment and stagnation in industry. Immigrants who worked on the Empire State Building circumvented these problems and created a beacon of hope within a country suffering from economic misfortune.

The building itself is quite beautiful, designed in the style of Art Deco (a very popular style at the time which can be found all over the country from construction projects from the 1930s) it stands at about 1,454 feet including the immense spire at its top. The spire has been illuminated by electric light since the building’s inception.

A symbol of New York City and the United States since its completion, it is appropriate that it was built by immigrants since it was immigrants who built the United States from the ground up.

The building often shows up in films in establishing shots to show that the scene about to take place is in New York City and is a part of history for its role in the 1933 classic film, King Kong.


Passport Cards

One of the benefits of United States citizenship is that with this status you can use a United States passport. With an official US passport you can be secure in knowing that no matter where you go, the US will have a diplomatic mission or embassy nearby willing to assist you.

Foreign nationals can become US citizens by first becoming Permanent Residents. To get permanent residency one can apply for the Green Card Lottery, the simplest and easiest way to get permanent residency.

The United States passport is quite similar to many other passports and comes in the form of a small blue book with the national seal on the cover. The back page contains a citizen’s biographical and identifiable data.

Recently the US has created a useful companion to the passport book: the passport card.

This card is about the size of a credit card and can be used for visits to nearby countries.

The card is primarily used for returning to the United States and if the country that you are going to needs to see your passport you will have to have it on you as well. You can go to Canada, Mexico, countries in the Caribbean and Bermuda.

You must use either a land or sea crossing with the passport card. Air travel requires the full passport booklet.

The passport card costs $55 for first time applicants and lasts for ten years. If you already have a passport, the card only costs $30.


Green Card Lottery Tutorial

The process of getting a Green Card in the United States can be a difficult program, but not with usagreencardlottery.org!

We recently posted a helpful tutorial to the Green Card Lottery, one of the easiest ways to immigrate to the United States. Please watch our video and if you have any questions at the end feel free to post them here on this blog or on the video’s comment page.

We regularly monitor your comments and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

The Video

The Green Card Lottery abounds with interesting details and ancillary information and it is impossible to fit all that information into a video. Here we’ll discuss some other issues that didn’t quite make the final cut for the video.

  • The future of the Green Card Lottery. It is still uncertain whether or not the Green Card Lottery will continue past 2013, but politicians who are considering it have proposed a rather popular plan for its replacement. Often spoken about in shorthand as STEM, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics visa could be in the works. Here is how that would work. Students come to the United States to study in one of the above fields and at the end of their studies they will be offered a Green Card to live and work in the United States.
  • The Green Cards awarded to the Diversity Lottery winners are distributed statistically over the eligible countries and regions of the world. Certain countries are not allowed to participate in the program because too many people already immigrate to the US from that country. No one country or region is allowed to have more than 6% of the Green Cards given out by the lottery program.
  • Typically, Green Card Lottery winners can immigrate to the United States in as little as two years from their registration in the program!

Cultural Activities: Cultural Outlook on Science

The United States has maintained a rather positive attitude on the use of science and scientific discovery in daily life practically since its inception.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founders of the United States, was a well-regarded scientist and inventor at the time of America’s start.

A very interesting thing about the inventors and scientists of America is how many of them were immigrants or the children of immigrants.

  1. Alexander Graham Bell, the man who invented the telephone and made our modern system of telecommunications possible was an immigrant from Scotland and Canada.
  2. Nikola Tesla, a Serbian immigrant to the United States is an inventor often overlooked, but he is responsible for a significant amount of exciting early research in the use of electricity. To paraphrase a comment by tesla about the “inventor” of the radio Guillermo Marconi, he is using several of my patents let him continue.
  3. Albert Einstein, the man credited to be the smartest man of the 20th century completely revolutionized the way we think about the world around us. He taught at Princeton University for many years before his death.
  4. Wernher von Braun immigrated to the United States from the German rocket research programs of the mid-20th century and eventually went on to design the rockets that took American astronauts to the moon.

These immigrants, all from diverse backgrounds contributed great things to the society of the United States. And all are considered equally American.

For generations they inspired young thinkers and students to become great scientists and inventors themselves, because in the United States you can become the very best that you think you can be.


Cultural Activities: American Music

The United States is extremely well known for the unique musical styles that have originated within its borders for the past hundred or so years. One could potentially say that the incredible diversity found in the US is responsible for this musical innovation.

Listening to music, going to concerts and playing music is an extremely important part of American identity and as a new resident in this country, you may find yourself attracted to one musical “Scene” or another.

Below are only some of the original American musical genres.


Jazz is an incredibly diverse musical form that has many different categories, each containing its own unique characteristics and styles.

Arising from the confluence of African and European culture in the American South, Jazz quickly became one of the most popular musical forms in the world in the early and mid-20th century.

Famous musicians in the Jazz family include Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis and Benny Goodman.

Rock and Roll

A genre that became extremely popular in the 1950s, and still maintains great popularity today, is rock and roll. This form of music has almost as many sub-genres as jazz.

Rock and roll, and later rock music, had its origins in jazz and blues as well as strong influences from country music. It is very hard to establish specific characteristics in this genre of music simply because each rock and roll brand strives to be unique in its own right and they often form their own brand of music.

Famous musicians in rock and roll and rock music from the United States are Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Grateful Dead and Elvis Presley.

Rap Music

Rap is a form of music that came out of urban areas in the early eighties and is probably the most popular musical form in the United States today. Rap music can often be identified by the unique vocal styling of its performers. Something of a combination between spoken word poetry, improvisation and complex rhythms make rap a rather unique kind of music.

Rap music is often lauded for dealing with interesting social problems within its lyrics and is considered to be a very serious art-form.


Cultural Activities: Political Participation

After you have been a Permanent Resident for a period of time you can then become a citizen with the ability to vote and to run for office, but there are other ways to participate in the political system.


Political participation has a long history in the United States, in fact, many of the Europeans who first immigrated to America did so because they were protesting the religious persecution they experienced in their home countries.

The years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War were also full of protests and political thought. The US constitution was written by a bunch of people who were very much interested in how to form the best government for their 13 colonies.

Even in recent years, the value of political participation has been felt during the upheaval of the Great Recession. There are many different forms of political participation, but two main categories may be considered voting and protest.

Only for Citizens?

While citizens are the only residents of the United States to vote, that doesn’t necessarily limit permanent residents from participating in the politics of the times. Many peaceful protests are organized every year in the interest of immigrants in the United States and it only take a little bit of looking to find an organization that supports these activities.

The two-party system

The US has what is called a two-party system. There are two rather large political parties, but these aren’t the only ones, there are many smaller parties which are collectively known as “third parties”.

However, the majority of Americans choose to be represented in their government by the two major parties. Learning more about these two political parties may help you get a better understanding of how you lean on the political spectrum.


Cultural Activities: Famous American Authors

The United States, being a country founded on immigrants, often had its own stories told by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Often, the ancestors of American authors had detailed histories which described their passage into the United States.

Here, we’ve collected some short descriptions of famous American authors for your perusal in the hopes that by reading them, you may find some additional cultural understanding of your new home.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous work, The Scarlet Letter, details some of New England’s more dark beginnings as a colony of puritans. This classic of literature examines sin and social justice in a new land. This novel is often required reading for American high school students.

Herman Melville

Moby Dick is the quintessential adventure novel from the United States. From a peaceful teaching job, to the rough and tumble Nantucket, to the exiting travels across the ocean to the brink of madness, Ishmael follows Captain Ahab, a man obsessed with revenge against a whale who took his leg.

This was one of Melville’s only successful books, which he wrote shortly after a similar adventure he had. He died impoverished, working at a clerk’s desk, but his classic remains famous in the US and elsewhere.

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was a quiet and solitary man. This left him a great deal of time to contemplate the world and bind his thoughts into the lasting compendium that is Leaves of Grass. Mr. Whitman arguably belonged to the Transcendentalist school of thought in the 1800s and is closely related to another great American author, Henry David Thoreau.

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was a journalist in a peculiar time in American history. Not only was it unusual for a woman to be a professional at the time, but it was outright shocking for a woman to be doing such in-depth reporting.

In Ten Days in a Mad-House, Bly set to uncovering the corrupt system of insane asylums of the late 1800s and pave the way for investigative journalists for a century to come!


Cultural Activities: Winter Holidays

In the United States, there are several holidays which occur in the beginning of winter which have become part of the cultural mindset of the season. While participation is never mandatory, Permanent Residents of the United States often find they have an easier time assimilating into society if they participate in cultural activities.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s is a strictly secular holiday and although the day-off often given for this holiday is January 1st, it is the night before where all of the celebrations occur.

Some traditions associated with New Year’s Eve in the United States:

  • Kissing a loved one at Midnight.
  • Drinking Champagne or other sparkling wine.
  • Counting down the seconds to midnight in your time-zone.
  • Making New Year’s resolutions. These are goals that people set for the entire new year, however, they are often abandoned after a few months.


Chanukah (many different spelling variations) is a strictly religious holiday and has a great deal of meaning for Jewish peoples of the world. While it is not the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar, it is commonly celebrated in the United States.

Filled with symbolism and legends and wonderful stories, this period of eight days often shifts and occurs on different days in the month of December.


Christmas is a Christian religious holiday, but it has also been appropriated, in a sense, by American culture. Even people who are not particularly religious celebrate Christmas as a time of universal understanding and good will.

Gifts are often exchanged on this holiday. It occurs on December 25th, with Christmas Eve occurring the day before. Christmas is a traditional time of year for family members to gather and share the holiday together.

Other holidays

There are a number of other holidays that occur during this time of year. Does your culture have a holiday in December that we haven’t mentioned? Write about it in the comments!