A United States Permanent Resident Card, known informally as a green card (due to the color of some earlier variants), is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States of America. Green card also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident.
The green card serves as proof that its holder, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the USA. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met.
The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics issued its Annual Flow Report on U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) for FY 2009. In 2009, a total of 1,130,818 persons became LPRs of the U.S and obtained Green Cards. The majority of new LPRs (59 percent) already lived in the United States when they were granted lawful permanent residence. Nearly two-thirds were granted permanent resident status based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. The leading countries of birth of new LPRs were Mexico (15 percent), China (6 percent), and the Philippines (5 percent).
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