What Is A Lawful Permanent Resident?
Many immigrants want to become permanent residents of the United States. What exactly does having a permanent residency mean? Does it give the same rights as a U.S. citizen? Learn how to be a permanent resident, your rights as a Green Card holder, and how an immigration lawyer can help.
What Makes A Lawful Permanent Resident?
A lawful permanent resident, commonly known as a Green Card holder, is an individual with the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely. The process of becoming a lawful permanent resident is known as obtaining a Green Card, which is a physical card that serves as proof of an individual’s permanent resident status.
How To Obtain A Green Card
Obtaining a Green Card can be a lengthy and complex process, as there are several different categories that an individual may fall under to be eligible for a Green Card. Some common categories include being sponsored by a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, being sponsored by an employer, or being a refugee or asylee. There are also special categories for individuals with extraordinary abilities in particular fields, such as science, art, or athletics.
Once an individual has obtained a Green Card, they are allowed to live and work in the United States indefinitely, as long as they do not engage in any activities that would disqualify them from permanent resident status. It includes committing crimes, failing to pay taxes, or violating immigration laws.
Green Card holders also have the right to travel in and out of the United States. However, they may need to obtain a travel document known as a re-entry permit if they plan to be outside the country for an extended period of time.
Why Become A Permanent Resident
One of the main advantages of being a lawful permanent resident is that it allows an individual to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period. To be eligible for citizenship, a Green Card holder must have lived in the United States as a permanent resident for at least five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen. They must also meet certain other requirements, such as speaking and reading English and having a basic understanding of U.S. history and government.
The Benefits Of Being A U.S. Citizen
Becoming a U.S. citizen has several benefits, including voting in elections and holding certain government jobs unavailable to non-citizens. It also allows an individual to petition for certain family members to come to the United States and become permanent residents themselves.
Seek Legal Aid From An Immigration Lawyer
For Green Card and citizenship concerns, it’s crucial to consult with an immigration lawyer. A lawyer will help you navigate the complex process of permanently residing in the United States. At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, immigration attorneys are ready to serve you. Their experience and skills will bolster your chances of getting favorable results.
Although being a lawful permanent resident does not offer all the same rights and privileges as U.S. citizenship, it is still highly sought-after. It allows an individual to live and work in the United States indefinitely and provides a pathway to citizenship. It is important for Green Card holders to understand their rights and responsibilities as permanent residents. Any negative actions could affect their stay in the country. Be sure to consult with an immigration lawyer on Green Cards and citizenships.