Permanent Residence

Permanent residence is an immigration status in which an individual has the legal right to work and live in the United States for an indeterminate amount of time. Lawful permanent residence is obtained through various means including petitioning by current US citizens who are close relatives to the beneficiary, as well as winning the Green Card lottery.

Permanent Residence is grants the individual several rights, including the right to work. Permanent residence also grants the individual the right to petition other members (usually close family members) to receive permanent residence to join them in the country.

Permanent residence is associated with limitations on the individual. For instance, permanent residents are not allowed to vote in American elections, and also have strict regulations regarding leaving the United States and setting up homes outside the borders of the US. Permanent residents who do this are considered to have given up their green cards, and would need legal assistance in proving otherwise. One can be considered to have given up their green card when they abandon their residence in as little as a day.

In order to maintain permanent residence, an individual needs to follow set guidelines regarding the same. These include not taking part in criminal activities. In case a permanent resident has such legal problems, they are usually at risk of litigation, loss of the permanent resident status and deportation to their home country. After five years of being a permanent resident and having shown good moral character, a permanent resident has the right to apply for citizenship via naturalization.