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What Rights Do I Have as a Permanent Resident of the U.S.?

Permanent Resident RightsCongratulations! You’ve just been handed permanent residency in the United States. While you are not yet a citizen, you still enjoy many of the same rights and privileges they do.

In fact, you may be wondering, “what now?” What new privileges are you able to enjoy now that you’re a permanent resident? Has anything really changed? Let’s take a look.

Your Rights With a Green Card

Live and Work Permanently Anywhere in the US

No more filling out paperwork every few years! Now you’re free to live, work and have fun in the United States without fear of your time running out. Feel free to take off to greener pastures and find your true calling in the country.

Also, not only can you live anywhere you want with no time restrictions, you’re also able to own property. Time to buy a big fancy house!

Request Visas for Spouse and Unmarried Children

If you have family still living abroad, you can now apply to bring them into the country with you (though that process needs work). If you want to bring your children over, they must be unmarried, or will have to apply separately from you.

Social Security, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income

One of the perks to living in the country is enjoying certain social programs. These include programs like Social Security and Medicare. These programs can help you when you need them, like after you retire or get sick and need help paying for hospital bills.

Attend Public School and College

As a permanent citizen, you’re able to take advantage of the many great public schools we have around the country. Not only that, but higher education is calling your name as well! Many of the United States’ permanent residents have gone on to become lawyers, scientists and doctors. So take advantage of your rights to education!

Join Certain Branches of the US Military

If you’re more inclined to help defend the borders of the country you’re now a permanent resident of, then certain branches of the military will take you in. If this is the case, you will be part of a long standing tradition of non-citizens serving in the armed forces. It can also help you speed up the citizenship process!

Apply to Become a US Citizen

Once you’re eligible to apply, you are able to become a full citizen of the United States.  As stated above, if you are in the military, it can help speed up the process, taking almost two years less than non-military applicants. Either way, keep at it and you’ll enjoy further privileges like voting…and serving on jury duty!