Green Card

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The common term for a permanent resident card. This plastic photo identification card is given to persons who are legal permanent residents of the United States as proof that they are authorized to live and work in the United States. It serves as a U.S. entry document, enabling holders to return to the United States after temporary absences, and it proves their right to work in the United States. The green card expires after a certain number of years and must be renewed -- but note that the holder's permanent residence itself does not expire, only the ability to prove it using the card.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services