Permanent Residency in the United States |


Permanent Residency in the United States

The United States offers Permanent Residency in the United States, also known as Green Card holders, a number of rights and benefits. They are protected by federal laws, can work anywhere in the country, have access to world-class medical care, and can eventually become citizens.


However, they must obey state and local laws and pay all applicable taxes. They must also register with the Selective Service system (if male and age 18 to 25).


The United States grants lawful permanent residency (LPR) to foreign nationals who meet the immigration laws of the USA. LPRs are able to work in the USA without restrictions, own property, attend public colleges and universities at lower tuition rates, join the Armed Forces and apply for citizenship after meeting specific requirements. They are granted an Alien Registration Card, or “Green Card.”

The most common path to LPR status is based on employment. Many Carnegie Mellon students, researchers and professors seek residency through this route. The information in this handout is designed to help them navigate the process.

USCIS classifies green card applicants in accordance with a preference system and priority date. Some countries receive a lower number of visas each year than others, resulting in backlogs. When this happens, it takes a longer time to be approved for a residence based on employment.

Other categories, such as those for investors, workers with extraordinary ability and members of the family-based fourth preference, are not subject to backlogs. But require thorough evaluation of the individual’s background, academic credentials, professional experience.


Standing in their field of expertise (both nationally and internationally) and overall reputation. In addition, males who obtain a green card must register with Selective Service, which makes them eligible to be drafted into the military in times of war.

Understanding Permanent Residency in the United States

Having a Green Card enables you to live and work in the United States permanently. It allows you to sponsor family members for permanent residence and it gives you access to numerous federal benefits, including social security, Medicare and other allowances.

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However, being a Lawful Permanent Resident has its own unique set of rights and obligations. For example, you are required to carry your physical Green Card with you at all times and you will be asked to present it when opening a bank account, obtaining an American driver’s license or applying for a job.

If you do not fulfill your residency requirements, you could lose your status. For example, if you are out of the country for more than six months, there is a rebuttable presumption that you have abandoned your status and were never intending to return.

Although becoming a citizen has its own unique set of advantages. Many people are content with being Green Card holders and the opportunities that it offers. Besides being able to take part in the world’s largest economy. They may also gain access to top-notch education and avoid international fees at universities.

Additionally, they can apply for citizenship after meeting specific conditions. Citizenship, however, offers expanded rights, such as the right to vote and the ability to run for public office. The process of becoming a citizen may take longer, but it is worth the effort!

Eligibility Criteria

There are multiple pathways to Permanent Residency in the United States. Each pathway has different eligibility criteria that individuals must meet. Permanent residents, also known as green card holders, have the right to live and work anywhere in the United States.

They are fully protected by the laws of the United States and must pay taxes. Male permanent residents between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with Selective Service, which makes them eligible to be drafted into the military in the event of war.

The most common pathway to Permanent Residency is the employment-based EB-1 category for people with extraordinary abilities in science, arts, education, business or athletics. To qualify for this category, you must have skills that are superior to those of your peers and be recognized internationally for these abilities. If you are selected in the EB-1 lottery, you may be able to obtain a green card without having a specific job offer or labor certification.

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Another option for Permanent Residency is the EB-2 category for professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. This category also has a national interest waiver component, which allows you to self-petition for your green card in cases where your endeavors would be beneficial to the country. This is often the path taken by Yale teaching faculty who are offered permanent academic positions in research departments.

Pathways to Permanent Residency in the United States

Whether through family sponsorship, employment-based immigration or asylum, there are many pathways to lawful permanent residence. These vary by country of origin, as each is allocated an annual number of immigrant visas to bring in those who qualify on a merit-based basis.

Once granted, green card holders have the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely. They are also permitted to travel internationally as long as they do not overstay their period of lawful residence in the US, or otherwise fail to comply with applicable federal laws and regulations. The green card serves as proof of status, but does not confer citizenship nor allow them to hold a passport or vote in elections (unless they have become naturalized citizens).

Despite being afforded expanded rights and privileges, permanent residents are still subject to visa quotas when bringing in family members and are not entitled to the same benefits that citizens receive, such as access to Medicare and social welfare programs.

However, once they have resided in the United States for ten years. They may apply to become citizens of the country. Additionally, they enjoy access to one of the best higher education systems in the world. And may be able to avoid international fees at schools by pursuing their studies here. They are also protected by applicable federal, state and local laws and have close access to world-class medical care.

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Application Process

Having a Green Card affords many rights and privileges. Residents can sponsor their family for immigrating to the United States. Access government assistance programs like Medicare and Social Security. And generally have a more difficult time being deported from the country.

However, they must also fulfill specific residency obligations. For example, if a resident spends more than six months in another country. There is a rebuttable presumption that they abandoned their status and may forfeit the right to return. In addition, they must pay income taxes, just as U.S citizens do. And must register with the Selective Service system (males between the ages of 18 and 25).

Additionally, they are allowed to work anywhere in the United States, provided it is not against their lawful status. They are protected by the laws of the United States, their state of residence, and local governments. They are also required to obey all laws of the United States, including those that govern immigration.

Rights and Responsibilities

As a permanent resident, you’ll enjoy rights that include the right to work and live in the United States. Moreover, you can sponsor family members for permanent residency. This includes spouses, children, parents, and siblings. Additionally, you have the opportunity to apply for citizenship when eligible. Citizenship grants additional benefits such as voting, serving in specific military branches, and traveling outside the United States.

The responsibilities associated with permanent residency include obeying federal, state and local laws and paying taxes. Taxation includes reporting all interest, dividends, salaries, rents, royalties and other categories of income to the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s important to note that if you’re a permanent resident and decide to become a U.S. citizen. Your application will be subject to more scrutiny than it would have been if you’d filed for citizenship from the beginning. For example, there are certain criminal convictions that may disqualify you from becoming a citizen.


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