Receiving a green card is an important milestone in your journey toward citizenship. It indicates that you no longer have to continue re-applying for your visa, or temporary residence. When you get your green card, you have conditional permanent residency. While it may be taken away if you don't behave a certain way and uphold certain responsibilities, it gives you the right to have unconditional permanent residency either through marriage or through entrepreneurship. Unconditional permanent residency naturally progresses into U.S. citizenship, in which you have nearly all the rights of a natural-born citizen including the right to vote.
If you want to plan your path to citizenship, contact an immigration lawyer for a consultation. A lawyer will help you fill out USCIS forms, apply for visas and green cards, and offer detailed information on how to conduct yourself while in the United States.
For a brief rundown of the responsibilities, freedoms and rights of conditional permanent residents, read on.
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, your rights as a permanent resident include:
These rights and freedoms only apply if you behave accordingly, by:
You will abandon your permanent resident status if you remain outside of the United States without filing appropriate paperwork, move to another country and establish yourself as a permanent resident, or fail to declare yourself as an immigrant on your income tax returns. You may be deported if you fail to uphold United States laws or fail to uphold your responsibilities as a permanent resident.
To apply for permanent residency, contact an immigration attorney today!