Permanent Resident Services
Once an individual has entered the U.S. on an immigrant visa, he/she will be granted permanent resident status. A permanent resident card (also called a "green card" or "I-551") will be issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and mailed to the individual's U.S. address. The card serves as a valid identification document and proof that the individual is eligible to live and work in the U.S. Permanent residents, traveling outside of the U.S. with their passport, should be prepared to present their permanent resident card to re-enter the U.S.
Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) have most of the rights of American Citizens:
- LPRs may live permanently in the United States provided they do not commit any actions that would make them removable (deportable) under the immigration law.
- LPRs may be employed in the United States.
- LPRs are protected by all of the laws of the United States, the state of residence and local jurisdictions.
Naturalization: Many Permanent Residents of the United States have the ultimate goal of becoming American citizens. Once an LPR completes the necessary residence and physical presence requirements (which vary in certain cases), he/she can file an application for naturalization. See the USCIS website for additional details.
Green cards can only be issued or replaced in the United States and can never be obtained overseas.
Last modified: November 7, 2008