In the United States, permanent residency refers to a person’s immigration status. A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is not a U.S. citizen, but is authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. A Lawful Permanent Resident is also known as a Permanent Resident Alien, Resident Alien Permit Holder, and Green Card Holder. Permanent residency is a privilege under the law and can be revoked, even after receiving a green card. There are several ways to become a Lawful Permanent Resident. Many individuals become permanent residents through family sponsorship or a U.S. employer, but others seek permanent residency through refugee or asylum status, or through the Diversity Visa (Green Card) lottery.
Rights and Responsibilities of Permanent Residents
Permanent residency status carries with it a number of important rights and responsibilities; some of these include the following:
- The right to live permanently in the United States, as long as the permanent resident does not commit any violations that would warrant removal under U.S. law
- The right to work in the United States
- The right to be protected by the laws of the United States, the permanent resident’s state of residence, and local jurisdictions
In addition to the aforementioned rights, permanent residents also have the following responsibilities:
- Permanent residents must obey the laws of the United States, the separate states, and all localities
- Permanent residents must file income tax returns and report their income to the United States Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities
- Permanent residents are expected to support the United States’ democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means
- Male permanent residents who are 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service
A Green Card is the informal name for a U.S. government issued I.D. that serves as proof of an individual’s permanent residency status. The official title for Green Cards is a United States Permanent Resident Card. However, it is often referred to as a Green Card because it was the color green from 1946 through 1964, and again from 2010 on. Green Card holders should keep in mind that like any lawful permanent resident, they can have their status revoked and removed from the U.S. if they violate certain conditions
Immigration Attorney Jose C. Campos, Esq. has processed numerous Green Card applications and will be happy to assist you with your application. Please contact us for additional information or to schedule an appointment.