What happens after I become a permanent resident?

The path to American citizenship is an emotional journey for the millions of immigrants that apply for their green cards each year. Once you’ve obtained your green card, there are responsibilities that you have as a new American citizen. In this publication, we briefly describe what happens after you become a permanent resident.

Some foreign nationals come to the U.S. for work, with exceptional talents, or due to love. Whatever brings you here, we are eager to help you become legal residents that can enjoy a lifetime of happiness as an American citizen. 

Let’s review some of the newfound duties that come with citizenship. The responsibilities are a significant part of your status change. However, there are also some newly acquired benefits. 

First things first, as a permanent resident:

  • You are required to obey all laws of the United States and localities. 
  • You have to file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities.
  • You are supposed to support the democratic form of government (“support” does not include voting. Permanent residents cannot vote in federal, state, or local elections.)
  • You need to register with the Selective Service if you are a male aged 18 through 25.

Next up, the benefits that your green card provides include the rights:

  • To live permanently in the United States. Nevertheless, provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable under immigration law. Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for security reasons)
  • To be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence, and local jurisdictions.

Are you a resident in the U.S. with your current citizenship tied to a foreign country? Are you interested in taking the next step and applying to be an American citizen? Our team of experienced immigration attorneys can guide you on the path to investing in your future and achieving a green card. 

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