USCIS has recently updated its immigration guide which includes information to help new immigrants navigate everyday life in the U.S. “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants” is free and available in 14 languages. In the revised guide, USCIS has updated general information on policies, programs and resources. There are also two new chapters: “Taking Care of Your Money,” about personal finances, taxes and scams; and “Understanding Education and Health Care,” detailing the American education system and the health insurance marketplace.
It’s written in the guide that “being a permanent resident is a privilege, not a right.” Once you have successfully obtained permanent resident status, you must take precautions to protect that status. It is possible to lose your green card under certain circumstances. Permanent residents need to demonstrate that their intent is to remain in the United States. Here are some key points to remember:
Don’t leave the U.S. for an extended period of time unless you can prove that it is for a temporary purpose (such as for work or school). If you are abroad for more than six months during the year, this could be interpreted as intent to abandon your status. If you need to remain outside of the U.S. for more than six months, you will need to obtain a re-entry permit. If you try to return to the U.S. after being gone for a year or more, you will not be able to use your permanent resident card to enter the country;
Be sure to file your income tax returns;
If you move, you must provide your new address to USCIS within 10 days of relocating;
Register with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26;
Always keep your ties to the U.S. – maintain a U.S. address, a U.S. bank account, driver’s license and credit cards; and
Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.