Guide for New Immigrants:
Congratulations on becoming a permanent resident of the United States of America.As a permanent resident of the United States, you have made a decision to call this country your home. As you work to achieve your goals, take some time to get to know this country, its history, and its people. As a permanent resident, you should also begin to learn about the responsibilities of being a new immigrant and to understand how the U.S federal, state, and local government work. It is important to learn how important historical events have shaped the United States. It is now both your right and your responsibility to shape the future of this country and ensure its continued success.As a permanent resident, you should begin to learn about this country, its people, and its responsibilities as a new immigrant, to understand how U.S. federal, state, and local governments work, and to learn how important historical events have shaped the United States.
As a permanent resident,you have rights:
- Live and work permanently anywhere in the U.S.
- Apply to become a U.S.citizen once you are eligible.
- Request visas for your husband or wife and unmarried children to live in the U.S.
- Get Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare benefits if eligible.
- Own property in the U.S.
- Apply for a driver’s license in your state or territory.
- Leave and return to the U.S. under certain conditions.
- Attend public school and college.
- Join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
As a permanent resident,your responsibilities are:
- 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 ages 18 and 26.
- Maintain your immigration status.
- Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.
- Change your address online or in writing to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 10 days of each time you move.
- Maintain updated permanent resident card.
- If you are outside the United States for more than 12 months, you need to go through certain procedures to re-enter the United States.
- Expected to support the democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means
If a green card holder (lawful permanent or conditional resident) leaves the United States and wishes to return, the person's trip must be for a temporary visit, not because that person's "real" home is elsewhere. Making your home in another country can lead to the conclusion that you have "abandoned" (given up) your U.S. residence.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have the power to decide whether returning green card holders are living outside the United States. If you know ahead of time that you're going to have to spend more than a year outside the United States, you can apply for a reentry permit. Use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. You will have to explain to USCIS the purpose of your trip and how much time you’ve already spent outside the United States.
If you have been stay outside the U.S. for more than one year and do not get a reentry permit before leaving, then in order to come back again, you must apply at a U.S. consulate abroad for a special immigrant visa as a returning resident. To get this visa, you will have to convince the consular officer that your absence from the U.S. has been temporary and you never planned to abandon your U.S. residence. You will have to show evidence that you were kept away longer than one year due to unforeseen circumstances. Such evidence might be a letter from a doctor showing that you or a family member had a medical problem.
If you do not have a very good reason for failing to return within one year, there is a strong chance you will lose your green card.