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Queens Permanent Residency Attorney

NYC and Manhattan Immigration Lawyer

If you are working to become a permanent resident of the United States or have recently received your green card, you may have any of a number of questions. You may wonder what you should and should not do to protect your right to remain a permanent resident or become a U.S. citizen one day. We have compiled some basic information about permanent residency in this portion of our website. In addition to reviewing this, we welcome you to call our New York City offices at any time to talk to a New York City immigration lawyer about your concerns.

Rights and Responsibilities of Permanent Residents

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) defines a lawful permanent resident (LPR) as: "Any person not a citizen of the United States who is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant." As a permanent resident, you have particular rights and responsibilities. Understanding these can help you remain a permanent resident and even become a citizen of the U.S.

Permanent residents have the following rights:

  • To live and work anywhere in the U.S., permanently;
  • To apply to become a U.S. citizen;
  • To request visas for spouses and/or children to live in the U.S.;
  • To receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare;
  • To own property anywhere in the U.S.;
  • To apply for a driver's license;
  • To come and go from the U.S.;
  • To join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces;
  • To own a firearm; and
  • To attend public school and college in the U.S.

Please note that there are certain restrictions and eligibility requirements on many of a permanent resident's rights, so it is important to fully research these.

Permanent residents also have the following responsibilities:

  • To follow local, state and federal laws;
  • To pay income tax (local, state and federal);
  • To register with the Selective Service (for military drafts), if a male between 18 and 26.
  • To have your green card/proof of immigration status with you at all times;
  • To maintain your permanent resident status; and
  • To inform the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of any change of address within 10 days.

For more information, see the UCIS guide for new immigrants: Welcome to the United States.

Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards)

Sometimes referred to as a "green card," a Permanent Resident Card is a legal document that serves as proof of your status as a Legal Permanent Resident. It also is used to re-enter the United States if you leave for a vacation or other reason. If you are at least 18 years old, you must carry this card with you at all times and must show it to an immigration officer if asked. A Permanent Resident Card is good for 10 years from the date that it is issued and must be renewed every 10 years, before it expires. Renewing this card is the responsibility of a permanent resident.

Maintaining Your Status as a Permanent Resident in Queens

If you want to remain a permanent resident and apply for citizenship one day, there are four main things you will need to do. First, do not leave the U.S. for an extended period of time or make a permanent move to live in another country. Second, be sure to file all applicable income tax returns (state, federal and/or local). Third, you will need to register with the Selective Service of the U.S. Armed Forces if you are a male aged 18-26. Finally, make sure you inform the DHS of your address. If you move, inform the DHS within 10 days of your move.

Get experienced help if you wish to apply for permanent residency. Contact a New York City immigration attorney at Musa-Obregon Law PC today.

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