A lawful permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” holder is a person who has been granted the privilege of permanently residing in the United States. While lawful permanent residents do not enjoy all of the privileges of United States citizenship, such as the right to vote, right obtain citizenship for children born abroad, protection from deportation, eligibility for federal jobs, eligibility for federal welfare benefits with some exceptions, etc., the lawful permanent resident status confers a number of rights. Some of these rights include the ability to:
- live permanently anywhere in the U.S. as long as the LPR does not commit any crimes or other violations that would result in deportation (removal) and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship;
- attend public schools, colleges and universities on the same basis as U.S. citizens;
- obtain a driver’s license and a social security number;
- legally work in the U.S.;
- enter certain branches of the Armed Forces
- obtain government benefits, including Social Security and Medicare, when eligible
- qualify for student financial aid, state resident tuition, housing financial assistance with some restrictions
- qualify for emergency medical assistance
- qualify for major federal public assistance programs after living in the U.S. for 5 years and/or working forty qualifying quarters (children are exempt from the 5-year bar)
- obtain health insurance
- own property in the U.S.
- leave and re-ender the U.S. with some restrictions
- sue and be sued
Qualifying for the lawful permanent resident status to live in the United States can be a challenge, as well as the application process can be lengthy and difficult. However, receiving a green card is only one step away from becoming a U.S. citizen. Do not let a mistake get on your way of establishing lawful permanent residence in the U.S. We can streamline your legalization process and safe you a lot of time and money.