The American passport is one of the most influential ones to own worldwide. U.S. Immigration statistics show that nearly 860,000 green card holders apply for U.S. citizenship.
Considering the number of people who travel to the U.S. for business or personal reasons every year, many want to apply for citizenship. Becoming a permanent resident is a dream for many visitors.
Fortunately, there’s a wide range of different legal statuses that people may have in the U.S. The most common ones include permanent residence and citizenship.
Most people think these two legal statuses are the same in regions like Huston, TX, and other areas of the United States. However, there’s a profound difference between the two that we will mention in this article.
Permanent Residency vs. Citizenship: Differences To Consider
There’s a wide range of differences between having a permanent residency and being a citizen of the United States. Here are a few things you should keep in mind.
What is a Legal Permanent Resident?
A permanent resident is a person who holds the right to stay in the United States for an indefinite period. These residents have the same rights as citizens (more or less) along with most privileges.
For example, you can work in the U.S. as a permanent resident without legal issues. Depending on your niche, you can run a personal business or work with a company.
Most permanent residents get an “alien registration card” known as a green card earlier. The card used to be green, which is why people called it such.
However, a green card is powerful enough to prove your eligibility for a job. You can apply for employment opportunities with a green card or an alien registration card.
Can Permanent Residents Travel Out Of The U.S.?
The U.S. allows residents to travel to any area outside of the United States. However, all travelers should have a valid “alien registration card” when re-entering the U.S.
Additionally, all residents should ensure their passports do not expire before returning to the U.S. They can apply for a passport renewal in the American Embassy and have an unexpired passport for a secondary country.
Permanent residents must meet all the admission criteria back into the U.S. they met when first applying for permanent resident status. It can include certain law violations, such as health concerns, criminal records, false claims of U.S. citizenship, etc. Other severe offenses may include instances of terrorism, public charges, etc.
What Can A Permanent Resident Not Do?
There are a few things that permanent residents cannot do. One such example is the ability to vote. Individuals with permanent residency status cannot participate in the elections. Additionally, people with U.S. legal citizenship can vote in the presidential elections.
Is Permanent Residency Valid Forever?
The permanent residency makes the immigrants legal in the United States as long as they do not commit serious crimes or other legislative violations. People who violate these rules can be deported and banned from the U.S. permanently and may lose their residency status.
Additionally, some traveling scenarios may have the same result for the immigrants. For example, some people may lose their permanent residency status because of staying out of the U.S. for more than their designated period. The allotted period is six months at a time.
The immigration department authorities will assess your situation and determine your status. There are two scenarios in this case:
- The permanent resident has abandoned their permanent residency in the United States.
- The individual cannot return to the U.S. on time for personal reasons.
Additionally, individuals who remain out of the U.S. for a year or more no longer hold a permanent residency. They need to re-apply for permanent residence and meet the requirements again.
However, a legal attorney can present your case to the American Embassy and defend it against the immigration authorities.
What Responsibility Does a Permanent Resident Have?
A person with a permanent residence has some responsibilities they will need to uphold.
- Filing the U.S. tax returns as a permanent resident in the U.S.
- Abide by all the laws and regulations the government sets in their state.
- Sign up for the Selective Service (applicable for males and females between the ages of 18 and 25)
- Support the government by all means.
- Notify the USCIS about any changes in residential address.
Get Information with the Best, Contact Fong Ilagan
There’s a profound difference between a citizen and a permanent resident in the U.S. Understanding your rights and responsibilities depend on your immigration status in the U.S. Individuals facing immigration problems should reach out to a professional law firm.
Our immigration lawyers at Fong Ilagan are more than happy to help people looking to apply for permanent residence or defend their case against embassy authorities. We have an expert team who will assess and resolve your situation to protect your U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
Reach out to us today!