How to File for a Temporary Green Card


Immigrating to the United States legally requires applying for a green card or a visa. You can get a green card of visa for several reasons, including: work, travel or study.

  • Have a sponsor (relative, employer, school) complete an immigrant petition on your behalf. You can download a copy of the form from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Instructions for filling out the form and submitting it are on the form.

  • File the immigrant petition. Your and/or your sponsor will be notified by immigration services when the petition has been accepted. Once it has, fill out a Visa application (Form I-485), which can be obtained from the immigration services website. You fill out this application. Instructions on what documents to provide and how to file the application are on the form.

  • File your visa application. The government will perform a background and security check to determine if you are eligible to enter the United States. You may also be asked to take part in a phone or face-to-face interview. If all paperwork, background checks and interviews are accepted, you will be notified that your visa application has been accepted and you are allowed to enter the country.

  • Go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website, where you can file for a green card online. You must provide the approved petition and visa along with other information detailed in the form.


  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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