There are many benefits of obtaining a U.S. green card, which is why so many immigrants apply for a green card as soon as they are eligible. Also known as lawful permanent residency, a green card entitles you to several important benefits. We explore several of these benefits below!
- The freedom to work and live in the U.S. permanently: You can be employed in any profession of your choice with any U.S. employer, or you can be self-employed.
- Freedom of movement: Once you are a green card holder, you can travel outside of the U.S. and return freely. You can also travel anywhere within the U.S. you wish and live in any part of the U.S. you wish. If you do plan on leaving the country for more than six months, however, you may wish to take additional steps to safeguard your permanent residency.
- Benefits given to family members: Sponsored spouses and children will also be able to work and live freely in the U.S. Most temporary work permits do not allow dependents to work, and children lose status in the U.S. after the age of 21. As long as a dependent child obtains the green card by 21 years of age, he or she will be able to retain Lawful Permanent Resident status indefinitely.
- The ability to seek U.S. citizenship: Once you have had your U.S. green card for five years, you may qualify to apply for U.S. citizenship.
- Legal rights: With permanent residency in the U.S., you can get many social benefits, including:a. Ability to obtain government-funded research grants;
b. Taxation benefits;
c. Increased insurance coverage;
d. Social Security benefits;
e. Reduced tuition for education and access to government-sponsored financial aid;
f. Retirement benefits;
g. Healthcare benefits; and
h. Ability to make political campaign contributions.
- Easier to obtain a mortgage for home purchases and other substantial loans: With a U.S. green card you can more easily secure financing to own a house, cars and other property in the U.S.
- Permanent status: With many nonimmigrant visas, you are only granted specific status for a short period and you must continually reapply to extend your stay. A green card, however, confers permanent status, eliminating the need for future applications based on eligibility. Instead, you will only need to renew the physical green card every 10 years or so, which is a very simple process.
If you are interested in applying for a green card and would like explore your options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!