As top Pasadena immigration lawyers here at Nelson and Associates we help many immigrants to the U.S. become permanent residents. Today we want to talk a little bit about that new life as a permanent resident in the U.S. and a few things that you should know.
Pasadena Immigration Lawyers On Life As a Permanent Resident
As a Permanent Resident in the U.S., You Have Certain Rights
As a permanent resident in the United States, you have the right to:
● Live permanently anywhere in the United States.
● Work in the United States.
● Own property in the United States.
● Attend public school.
● Apply for a driver’s license in your state or territory.
● Join certain branches of the U.S. armed forces.
● Receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare
benefits, if you are eligible.
● Apply to become a U.S. citizen once you are eligible.
● Request visas for your spouse and unmarried children to live in the United
● Leave and return to the United States under certain conditions.
As a Permanent Resident in the U.S., You Have Certain Responsibilities
As a permanent resident, you must:
● Obey all federal, state, and local laws.
● Pay federal, state, and local income taxes.
● Register with the Selective Service (U.S. armed
forces) if you are a male between the ages of 18
● Maintain your immigration status.
● Carry proof of your permanent resident status at
● Change your address online or provide it in writing
to USCIS within 10 days of each time you move.
You can find more information on these rights and responsibilities of being a U.S. permanent resident in the USCIS welcome brochure.
Your Green Card
The green card is so named because it used to be green in color, however, the current green card is actually white.
As a permanent resident in the U.S. you will be given a “green card”. You will be required to pay an immigrant fee before you will be issued your green card. The exception to this is for immigrants who file for a change of status to become a permanent resident. In this case, you will only be asked to pay the form filing fee.
As a permanent resident with a green card who is 18 years old or older, you are required to carry your green card with you at all times as proof of your immigration status.
Your green card is only valid for a specified period of time. Before your green card expires, you will need to file to renew the card.
If you change your name at any time – for example, if you get married or divorced – you must file to replace your green card to get a new card with your new name on it.
You Can Have Your Permanent Residency Revoked
As a permanent resident in the U.S., there are some circumstances where you can lose your permanent residency. One situation where this may occur is if you “abandon” your residency status. This can happen if you leave the U.S. to live abroad permanently. When you leave the U.S. to live abroad, your conduct will tell the government whether you intended on returning as a permanent resident in the U.S. For example, leaving the country for an extended period of time, being a male over age 18 and not being registered for selective service in the U.S., and not being able to adequately explain an extended period outside the U.S.
This isn’t to say that you cannot travel outside the country for an extended period, but you must have a good reason to do so. An example of this would include having to take care of a family member who lives abroad who is ill. You can find details on traveling outside of the U.S. as a U.S. permanent resident on the USCIS webpage titled “International Travel as a Permanent Resident“.
Selective Service as a Permanent Resident
If you are a male between ages 18 and 26 and a permanent resident in the U.S. you must register for selective service. When you register for selective service in the U.S. you are letting the U.S. government know that you are available to serve in the U.S. armed forces. This does not mean that you will be drafted for military service because, at the current time, the U.S. does not have a military draft. It does mean, however, that should an armed forces draft be implemented, you may be called to serve.
As a registered permanent resident in the U.S., you do have the option to serve in the U.S. armed forces if you choose to do so.
Your Code of Conduct
When it comes to your code of conduct as a permanent resident living in the U.S. most of what you should know is common sense. For example, don’t involve yourself in any criminal or illegal activities. Involvement in these types of activities can lead to the revocation of your green card, deportation from the country, being banned from entering the country again in the future and losing your eligibility for citizenship.
Do You Need Pasadena Immigration Lawyers to Help With Your Immigration Process?
If you’re still going through the immigration process and are in need of immigration attorneys to help you through everything, Nelson and Associates can help. Give us a call today at 626-683-3451 and we’ll get you set up with a consultation right away.