Your conduct as a permanent resident can affect your ability to become a U.S. citizen later. The process of becoming a U.S. citizen is called naturalization.
As a permanent resident, 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 States.
● Leave and return to the United States under certain conditions.
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 and 26.
● Maintain your immigration status.
● Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.
● Change your address online or provide it in writing to USCIS within 10 days of each time you move.
As a permanent resident, you have many rights and freedoms. In return, you have some responsibilities. One important responsibility is to get involved in your community. You should also learn about American culture, history, and government. You can do this by taking adult education classes and reading local newspapers.
Permanent residents are issued a valid Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) as proof of their legal status in the United States. Some people call this a “Green Card.” If you are immigrating to the United States and will be admitted as a permanent resident, you must pay the USCIS immigrant fee. You pay this fee online through the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS) at www.uscis.gov/uscis-elis. Please note that you will not receive your Permanent Resident Card until you have paid the USCIS immigrant fee. If you became a permanent resident by adjusting your status while you were in the United States, you pay only the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, filing fee and not the USCIS immigrant fee.
If you are a permanent resident who is 18 years old or older, you must carry proof of your immigration status. You must show it to an immigration officer or law enforcement officer if asked for it. Your Permanent Resident Card can be valid for 10 years, and you must renew it before it expires or if your name changes. To replace or renew your Permanent Resident Card, you must file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. There is a fee to file Form I-90. You can get this form online at www.uscis.gov or by calling the USCIS Forms Line at 1-800-870-3676. If you are a conditional permanent resident (CR) through marriage or entrepreneurship, you were issued a two-year card. Do not use Form I-90 to apply for an extension or renewal of your status. Instead, you must file for removal of your conditions before your card expires.
Your Permanent Resident Card shows that you are allowed to live and work in the United States. You can also use your Permanent Resident Card to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. If you are outside of the United States for more than 12 months, then you will need to show additional documentation to re-enter the country as a permanent resident.