A resident is an individual who resides in a foreign land. In the United States, residents can be categorized into legal and illegal residents. Legal residents are those who have obtained permission to reside within the country. In case of permanent residence, this usually means obtaining a green card. Individuals who are permanent residents by virtue of having a green card enjoy most of the constitutional rights in the country, apart from the right to vote.

Various regulations are put in place regarding permanent residency. These include requiring the resident to inform the authorities about change of address, refraining from criminal activity and not setting up a permanent domicile in another country. A permanent resident who contravenes these and other regulations is at risk of losing their status and being deported.

Temporary residents are those who are granted access to the country for a limited, defined amount of time. These include tourists and foreign students. Temporary residents are also bound by several regulations, which if breached would lead to loss of the status. A temporary resident would also be required to renew their status at defined times, and failure to do so leads to prosecution or deportation.

An illegal resident is one who obtains access to the country and lives within its borders without the requisite legal mandate. They technically enjoy most of the constitutional rights a permanent resident would, but are at risk of prosecution and deportation on account of their staying in the country illegally. In case of the latter, the illegal resident is subject to a fair trial and due process without infringing on their human rights.