Many people spend several years of their lives obtaining legal permanent residence in the U.S. It is also known as a green card due to its color issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). People make a lot of effort to complete the immigration procedure and eagerly wait to hold their I-485 approval notices in their hands. As they have made a lot of effort in all this procedure, their feelings can’t be expressed in words when they read the notice received from their lawyers saying, “Congratulations, You are now a U.S. Permanent Residence.”
A green card is proof that a person can legally live and work in the USA. If you are 18 or above and are a legal resident in the USA, you need to carry your green card. It’s just like an identification card but it servers a different purpose.
When Your Green Card Is Approved
When you find that you have been selected for a permanent residency card and receive your green card approval notice, you will have a great feeling. It means that you are approved to live and work in the USA legally. You can enjoy a lot of freedom and benefits as a U.S resident. You can travel outside of the U.S and then quickly re-enter by using your green card. When your green card is approved, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send you a welcome notice within 30 days of your green card application approval. The welcome information officially contains the following line:
“Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.”
The welcome notice that you receive from the USCIS will contain important information for the green card holders, especially those that are new and don’t know much about the green card. The information included in the welcome notice is very detailed, and it consists of the following things:
- A list contains information about all the federal departments and agencies (along with contact information for each of them).
- A list is containing information about the federal holidays.
- Information about the rights and responsibilities that you have as a green cardholder.
- A guide about maintaining your permanent resident status without having any issues.
- Information about the potential consequences if a green card holder is involved in any criminal offenses.
- Information about the steps to obtain a social security number.
- Information about finding a place to live in the U.S.
- Information about finding a job in the U.S.
- Information about obtaining a driving license as a green cardholder.
- A guide about finding childcare.
- Information about opening your accounts in banks and other financial institutions.
- A detailed guide about U.S. government assistant programs.
- Information about becoming a naturalized U.S citizen.
- An overview of U.S history and civics.
When your green card application is approved, it will arrive within 30 days after receiving your approval notice. It means that you won’t be waiting for more than 60 days after your green card and permanent residency approval. If your green card is approved and not received, then it means that there might be some issue. You should wait for 60 days, and if your green card does not arrive after the i-485 approval notice, you should immediately contact the USCIS. If you have changed your address, you must contact USCIS and tell them about your address change; otherwise, your approval notice will be sent to the wrong address, further delaying the rest of the things. One more thing that you must keep in mind that there is some fee associated with the green card procedure. If you failed to submit that fee on time, then it can also affect your green card application and can delay the process for your case.
What To Do After Receiving the Green Card?
Applying for a green card is a very hectic procedure, and it takes a lot of time and effort to complete the process and documentation. But when your green card application is approved, and you have received your green card, you need to know your rights and privileges as a green cardholder.
Rights of A Green CardHolder
- As a green card holder, you have a right to live and work in the U.S lawfully.
- You can become eligible to apply for U.S citizenship after a specific period of staying in the U.S as a green cardholder. Usually after the 5th year.
- You can request a visa for your close relatives like husband, wife, or children so that they can also live in the U.S with you.
- You can get medicate benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and a Social Security Number if you are eligible.
- You have the right to own a property in the U.S.
- You can leave and re-enter the U.S, but you have to follow some conditions.
- Join certain positions in the U.S armed forces.
Responsibilities of A Green Cardholder
- You have to obey all federal, local, and state laws.
- You have to pay federal, local, and state income taxes.
- Maintain your immigrant status.
- Carry your green card all time with you.
- When you change your address, you have to give your address to the Department of Homeland Security within ten days of your move.
As a green card holder, you have to act responsibly, and you must not involve yourself in any criminal activities. You have to follow all the laws and rules of the U.S government. Suppose you are found involved in any illegal or fraudulent activities during your stay in the U.S as a permanent resident. In that case, there are serious consequences, and you will be given punishments according to the U.S laws.