Someone who is issued a green card in the United States is designated as a permanent resident. They are not a citizen, but they are considered to be in good standing with the government and do not need to satisfy the more strict, ongoing requirements associated with holding a visa only. Thousands of people successfully apply for their green card each year, but there are still many misconceptions about immigration law and about what having a green card means. Here's a look at three of those misconceptions.

Misconception: If you marry a citizen, you are given a green card.

You hear about people "marrying for the green card" all of the time. These myths suggest that if you are not a U.S. citizen and you marry a U.S. citizen, you are automatically awarded with a green card. This is not the case. If you marry a U.S. citizen and are someone with a visa in good standing, you can then apply for a green card. However, the immigration offices will still have to investigate your marriage and other circumstances to determine if you're worthy of the green card before it is awarded. Marrying a citizen may make getting a green card easier, but it is by no means a guarantee.

Misconception: You can easily file the paperwork for a green card yourself.

Applying for a green card is sometimes seen as a process similar to applying for a driver's license or a passport. In reality, however, it's much more complex. Although all of the paperwork to file for a green card is available online, you should definitely secure the assistance of an immigration lawyer when applying. This will help ensure your application is approved the first time so you don't accidentally end up over-staying your visa, not being issued a green card, and then sabotaging your changes as a green card in the future.

Misconception: Once you have a green card, you can't be deported from the U.S.

You may assume that having a green card will keep you safe from deportation but truly, until you are a citizen of the United States, there are circumstances under which you can be sent back to your home country. Green card holders are typically only deported if they commit serious crimes or are found to be guilty of fraud. Hopefully, you never find yourself in such a position, but you should know the truth about the protections your green card does and does not offer.