Since its introduction, the US Green Card has been one of the most desired immigration visas worldwide. However, especially in times of crisis, the true value of a Legal Permanent Resident Card is revealed.
The Corona pandemic has completely shut down the world and especially travelling. On 13 March 2020, the US government decided to ban all citizens of the Schengen area, China, Iran, Ireland and Great Britain from entering the United States.
The entry ban, initially valid for 30 days, was recently extended indefinitely in the course of the progressive development of the Corona crisis.
However, Green Card holders can take a deep breath. They benefit from the fact that they have almost all the rights of a US citizen and thus belong to the group of people who are still allowed to enter the USA in such times of crisis, even if they have stayed in one of the countries affected by the entry ban.
Over 1 million Germans live and work in the USA - many of them with one of the numerous non-immigrant visas, such as the H1B visa for highly qualified employees or the L1 visa for transferred employees.
However, the stay of holders of a US work visa is always tied to the respective job. If they lose their job during the crisis, the visa also loses its validity and they must leave the United States immediately.
Green Card holders are much more flexible in this regard, as their residence status is not tied to an employer. Especially in times of crisis this is an unbeatable advantage! In the event of losing their job, permanent residents can reorient themselves without restrictions and look for crisis-proof employment. They do not need to fear having to leave the country.
In times of crisis, however, the land of freedom and unlimited possibilities can also show its limits quite quickly for visa holders who are not affected by job losses - in the truest sense of the word!
Many German employees are therefore currently stuck in the United States. An exit to a country affected by the entry ban - such as Germany - should now be well considered. Family visits, personal attendance at funerals or weddings, and even travel to important professional events abroad have become virtually impossible for US residents without a Green Card. Holders of a US work visa are currently affected by the entry ban just as much as any tourist, which effectively prevents them from returning to the USA after leaving the country.
Green Card holders, on the other hand, must currently expect to be subject to quarantine, but otherwise enjoy unrestricted freedom in terms of leaving and re-entering the USA.
The US government has decided to provide stimulus checks of $1,200 to US citizens in order to limit the negative effects of the corona crisis on the US economy.
These stimulus checks will also be paid out to Green Card holders living in the USA!
To receive the Stimulus Check, the following requirements must be met:
Adjusted annual gross income may not exceed $75,000 for individuals ($150,000 for couples filing a joint tax return) to receive the full $1,200. Above this, the support amount is gradually reduced. There is an additional $500 for each eligible child under the age of 17.
Especially Green Card holders do not have to worry about their future residence status! Receiving the stimulus check does not count as a public charge under the new USCIS rules. Therefore, the possible future application for American citizenship is not in danger.
If you too dream of American citizenship, you should register for the upcoming Green Card Lottery now!