Permanent Residents Do’s and Dont’s

Green Cards are issued to foreign nationals who immigrate to the United States, with an intention of making the United States their permanent home. The U.S. government grants various rights to people who become permanent residents of the country.

However, some people are unaware of their legal rights. They also fail to remember the fact that the Green Card which is not a right by itself may be revoked and their status in the United States may be terminated for various reasons. 

There are certain things that the Green Card holders must do in order to hold their Green Cards and remain permanently in the United States. As a Green Card holder, you must never fail to file your local and federal tax returns. You must abide by the U.S. immigration laws and register with the Selective Service. 

Whenever you move to a new address, you must give your new address to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Green Card holders may travel abroad, but with a few restrictions.

You may travel abroad for less than a year but you must not remain outside the United States for more than a year. If you do so, you may lose your legal status in the United States. And you must hold a valid Green Card and present it when asked. If for some unforeseen reasons you have to travel then you may get a travel document before you travel to make sure your Green Card status is intact.

If you are a conditional permanent resident who holds a conditional Green Card, you must apply to remove conditions before the end of the two-year period, to remain in the United States.

If you hold a Green Card valid for ten years, then that card must be renewed before the end of the ten-year period. Your lawful status in the country may not cease if your card expires but according to U.S. immigration laws, all permanent residents must hold valid Green Cards. Similarly, you must retain copies of all your immigration papers. 

Permanent residents of America are allowed to sponsor Green Cards for their spouses and also sponsor their children. The other most important benefit is that an eligible permanent resident may become a U.S. citizen. Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits are granted to eligible Green Card holders.

Besides, permanent residents must be aware of certain things that they must not do. Leaving the country for an extended period of time will result in the loss of your legal status in the United States.

You must never lie to an immigration officer to obtain immigration and public benefits and you must not vote in the federal elections which are only limited to U.S. citizens. 

Marrying more than one person at a time, harassing a family member, engaging yourself in criminal activities, and violating U.S. immigration laws may result in criminal prosecution. As a Green Card holder, you must never help anyone to enter the country illegally. Involving in crimes such as murder, sexual assault, human or drug trafficking and terrorist activities will lead to deportation.