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Rights and Responsibilities of a Green Card Holder
(Permanent Resident)

immigration lawyer

Your Rights As A Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident (green card holder), you have the right to:

  • Live permanently in the United States provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable under immigration law
  • Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for security reasons)
  • Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions

Your Responsibilities as a Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident, you are:

  • Required to obey all laws of the United States the states, and localities 
  • Required to file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities (see IRS link to the right)
  • Expected to support the democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means
  • Required, if you are a male age 18 through 25, to register with the Selective Service

The Right to Vote

One of the most important privileges of democracy in the United States of America is the right to participate in choosing elected officials through voting in elections. There are many different types of elections in the United States, such as federal elections, state elections or local elections. Only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections. Registering to vote or voting in a federal election is a crime if you are not a U.S. citizen.  Non-U.S. citizens, including permanent residents (green card holders), who vote, or register to vote, in a federal election also can be denied naturalization and/or removed (deported) from the United States. 

There are very few jurisdictions where a non-U.S. citizen may vote in a local election.  However, this web site does not provide information regarding voting qualifications for state and local elections.  You can obtain information regarding voting qualifications in local elections from your local voting authority.  It is important to remember that even if you are allowed to vote in a local election, you are not eligible to vote in a federal election if you are not a U.S. citizen, nor in any other election that requires you to be a U.S. citizen.

 



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Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
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