What Are the Benefits of Having a Green Card?


A permanent resident card, more commonly referred to as a “Green Card” due to its green hue, confers many benefits upon the holder. A Green Card holder has the legal right to permanently live and work in the U.S. While a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. may not enjoy all of the same benefits as U.S. citizens, there are a number of important rights granted to those who hold green cards.

Benefits of having a Green Card

Green card holders are granted the right to live and work in the U.S. without the need to constantly reapply to maintain their status. Renewal of a Green Card is only necessary once every 10 years. To do so, the holder must complete Form I-90 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for processing. This should be completed approximately six months prior to the expiration date of the Green Card.

U.S. permanent residents also have the ability to sponsor immediate relatives to come and stay with them. Immediate relatives are considered to be parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21. Additionally, Green Card holders are able to permanently live in the U.S. while maintaining present citizenship in their native country. After five years of holding a green card, a person is usually eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. For those permanent residents who are married and living in the U.S. the whole time, they usually only need to wait three years prior to applying for citizenship.

Another major benefit of having a Green Card is receiving reduced tuition rates at institutes of higher education. Many colleges and universities, as well as vocational schools, across the U.S. charge higher tuition rates for international students and out-of-state students. Green card holders are eligible for in-state resident tuition rates. Green Card holders are also able to apply for and receive federal financial aid for help covering the costs of attendance.

Having a Green Card also makes travel in and out of the U.S. much easier. U.S. immigration services are required to readmit all Green Card holders. This is because the Green Card means they have lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. However, it is important to note that extended stays outside of the U.S. can become problematic for Green Card holders. If it seems that you may not be committed to making the U.S. your permanent place of residence, U.S. immigration may opt to revoke your Green Card.

Additionally, Green Card holders may qualify for federal benefits such as social security benefits. Social security benefits can include help covering the cost of food and childcare. Additionally, benefit recipients may receive assistance in covering the costs of medical care.

About The Author

Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. At NPZ Law Group, we are business immigration lawyers who understand that success in today's global marketplace requires a skilled and mobile workforce. We provide our business clients with the legal assistance they require in immigration matters to help them meet their business goals while complying with applicable immigration laws and regulations. We invite you to visit us on the web at www.visaserve.com or to email us at info@visaserve.com or to call us at 201.670.0006 for a consultation.

The NPZ Law Group is US and Canadian immigration law office located in NJ, NY (with affiliated offices in Canada and India). The immigration attorneys and immigration specialist staff at the NPZ!continue to monitor emerging developments in US and Canadian immigration law as the COVID-19 pandemic emergency continues to change the way immigration law will be practiced in the 21st-century.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.