Quite a few people are confused as to the differences in rights and responsibilities between U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). As a legal matter, LPRs, although allowed to stay and work in the United States permanently, are still ‘‘aliens’’ and subject to immigration law. Unlike United States citizens, below are some of the additional requirements on “Green Card” holders.
• The status of LPRs can be rescinded under section 246 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1256) and LPRs can be removed from the United States under section 237 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227);
• LPRs are required to acquire and carry evidence of their status (Form I–551) and replace it when it is lost or expires under section 264 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1304) and 8 CFR 264.5(b);
• LPRs must present specific documentation as a condition for admission and re-admission to the United States under section 211 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1181) and 8 CFR 211.1(a);
• LPRs must notify DHS of each change of address and new address within ten days of the date of the change of address under section 265(a) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1305(a)) and 8 CFR 265.1;
• LPRs may be deemed to have abandoned their status when outside of the United States for more than one year, unless they obtain a re-entry permit, in line with the documentary requirements at 8 CFR 211.1(a) and (b)(3); and
• LPRs must apply for naturalization to obtain citizenship, demonstrating good moral character and at least five years of continuous residence under section 316 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1427), as well as an understanding of the English language and a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States under section 312 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1423).
If you are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen we have created a new page with a short video, please click here.
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