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What rights and responsibilities do US permanent residents have?

Immigration Services

When an immigrant in Kentucky or elsewhere decides they wish to stay in the country permanently, they will need to apply to become a permanent resident. U.S. Permanent residency is a privilege, and as such, bestows upon a person both rights and responsibilities. It is one step on the road to one day becoming a U.S. citizen.

Permanent U.S. residents are permitted to live and work in the United States. They can own property in the United States and their children can receive a public education. If they wish they can apply for a driver's license in the state they reside in. They can even join certain branches of the military. If they meet eligibility requirements, they can receive certain government benefits such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare. Permanent residents can seek visas for their spouse and unmarried children. With some restrictions, permanent residents are permitted to leave the nation and return again. Finally, once they meet eligibility requirements, permanent residents can apply for citizenship in the United States.

However, those with permanent residency also have responsibilities. They must obey the law -- local law, state law and federal law. Males between 18-years-old and 26-years-old must register for the draft. U.S. permanent residents must maintain their immigration status and keep proof of their status as a permanent resident on them at all times. Finally, if they move within the nation, they must notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in writing or online within 10 days.

Obtaining permanent residency is very important for many immigrants who wish to live in the U.S. However, it is a legal process. There are forms to fill out and deadlines to meet. Moreover, if a permanent resident violates one of their legal responsibilities, it could affect their ability to become a U.S. citizen. Therefore, those seeking U.S. permanent residency may want to first obtain legal guidance, so they can learn more about the requirements they must meet to become a permanent resident.

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