BY ALI BRODIE
Once you obtain lawful permanent resident (‘LPR’) status in the United States through the EB-5 program, you are accorded a number of rights and responsibilities. A LPR acquires many of the same privileges a U.S. citizen enjoys, however there are limitations and requirements a LPR must abide by in order to maintain status. It is important to understand these rights and responsibilities, so as to not jeopardize your green card.
RIGHTS OF A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT:
- Live: Live in the U.S. permanently, so long as you do not commit any actions that would deem you removable.
- Work: One of the biggest advantages of becoming a LPR is the ability to work in the United States at any employer of your choice. Employment is not tied to specific employer.
- Public Benefits: A LPR may attend public school/college, obtain a driver license, and apply for Social Security and a number of other Federal Benefit Programs.
- Naturalize: Once eligible, a LPR may apply for U.S. citizenship through the process of Naturalization. Generally, an individual who has maintained LPR status for 5 years and remained in the country for half the time in the preceding 5 years prior to submitting their application, may apply for citizenship. A U.S. citizen may not be deported.
- Family Members: As a LPR, you may sponsor your spouse and unmarried children to join you in the United States.
- Protection: Becoming a LPR means you are protected by all of the laws of the United States and the specific State in which you reside.
RESPONSIBILIITIES OF A LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT:
- Obey and Support: A LPR is expected to obey all of the laws of the United States, and support the democratic form of government.
- Taxes: In order to maintain LPR status, it is critical that you file Federal, State, and local income taxes. Additionally, you must report income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and State tax department.
- Selective Service: If you are a male LPR between the ages of 18 through 25, you are required to register with the Selective Service.
- Address Change: As a LPR, each time you change address, you are required to inform the Department of Homeland Security of the new address within 10 days of relocation. This can be handled through completion of Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address.
HOW CAN YOU LOSE LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS:
- False Claims to U.S. Citizenship: Claiming to be a U.S. citizen for any reason is a false claim to citizenship and can cause you to lose your LPR status and be deported. Voting or registering to vote in any form of government elections in the United States may be viewed as a false claim to U.S. citizenship. Claiming U.S. citizenship on the Form I-9 is also deemed a false claim to citizenship. Using the identity documents of a U.S. citizen, or claiming to be a U.S. citizen to receive any benefit is considered a false claim to citizenship.
- Criminal Convictions: Certain types of criminal convictions can cause you to lose your LPR status and be deported. Likewise, LPRs with certain convictions will not be allowed to re-enter the United States. A conviction means that you have pled guilty or have been found guilty by a judge or jury of committing a crime.
- Abandonment: Spending long periods of time outside the United States may lead to a government determination that you have abandoned your LPR status. Generally, if an individual plans to remain outside of the U.S. for more than 6 months, it is recommended you apply for a reentry permit prior to departing the country to avoid a determination of abandonment.