Immigrants who obtain a permanent resident card— a green-card– receive a number of benefits from their decision to settle in the United States. Because the benefits included with a green card are so vast, it’s wise for immigrants to apply for permanent residency as soon as possible. Primary among the benefits of obtaining a permanent resident card is that the status extends permission to immigrants to live and work in the United States permanently. With a green card, an immigrant is legally allowed to work in any capacity for any employer with operations within the country. Even U.S. government jobs that don’t require high-level security clearance are open to permanent residents.
Permanent residents are also granted the legal permission to live anywhere they desire within the United States. Additionally, permanent residents are also obtain ongoing permission to travel outside the United States and then to return freely to the country. The one caveat with travelling outside the country is that if the duration of the trip goes beyond one year, permanent resident status could be jeopardized.
The right to sponsor relatives for permanent residency is another benefit to holding permanent resident status. As individuals with permanent resident status sponsor relatives, families can remain united as they settle in the US.
Permanent residents who’ve held a green card for five years also meet requirements for the application of naturalized citizenship. Naturalized citizens are allowed to vote in federal elections and to run for federal elected office.
Immigrants who obtain permanent resident status are also entitled to receive benefits from the Socials Security Administration as well as federally-financed grants and tax and retirement benefits.
Besides access to federal benefits, immigrants holding permanent resident status can also apply for state-issued privileges. Primary among these benefits is the legal permission to apply for a state driver’s license within their state of residence.
Permanent resident status also lets immigrants participate more fully in the economy through ownership of property that requires bank financing. With the status, immigrants have the means to purchase homes, cars and other property within the U.S. that typically require a relationship with a financial institution, something unavailable to immigrants without permanent resident documentation.