American Green Card vs. Canadian Green Card

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Difference between American Green Card and Canadian Green Card

In order to be able to work and live in the United States or in Canada a person not born in North America needs to apply for a Green card and follow the steps of the immigration process which best fits your current status. The Permanent Residence card is commonly referred to as a “green card”. Actually the term is used only for the green card offered by the United States' government, and candidates informally use the Canadian Green Card title instead of the Canadian Permanent Residence Card.

To qualify for a Green card, all candidates must fulfill specific requirements from which they are placed into various categories. The process can be quite long so candidates must have a good deal of patience.

American Green Card
Canadian Green Card


An American Green Card is an identity card which is the proof that the holder has been granted permission to work and live in the United States. The actual name is the United States Permanent Resident Card and the person holding it is a Lawful Permanent Resident.

A Canadian Green Card which is formally known as the Canada Permanent Resident Card grants the holder the right to live and work in Canada.

Immigration Possibilities

The persons applying for a green card should be aware of the various immigration procedures. They need to find a category in which they fit in and follow the specific steps for attaining it. For instance, a non-resident can apply for an American Green card if they have a U.S. Citizen family member or if they are qualified skilled professionals, also if they plan to invest in an American business. There is also a Diversity Lottery program which has a quota of 50,000 green cards. If you are persecuted in your homeland, you can apply for immigration through an asylum request. For all categories except immediate U.S. citizens' relatives and political asylum seekers under certain conditions, there is an annual quota established.

For a Canadian green card, applicants can be businessmen who want to invest in Canada, skilled workers, close relatives of Canadian citizens or foreign exchange students.

Losing Permanent Residence Status

If a person committed fraud and obtained an American green card based on it, that person will lose their Permanent Residence Status. Crime or non-compliance with immigration can have the same effect.

If a person who obtained a Canadian green card leaves the country for two years, that person can lose their status. If convicted or one has entered the country under the pretense of investing in, say, a Canadian business but fails to do it, one will lose their Permanent Residence Status.

Similarities and Differences

  • The American and Canadian Green Cards are identity cards showing that their holders have been granted permanent residence.
  • Various immigration possibilities are open for foreign applicants.
  • A person can lose their Permanent Residence Status due to fraud, crime and outside residence.

American Green Card and Canadian Green Card Video

Which green card is easier to get?
  • American Green Card
  • Canadian Green Card

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