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‘I’m a permanent resident, now what?’ What you need to know to comply with US laws and keep your status

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We made a list of all the responsibilities that a lawful Permanent Resident must comply with in order to avoid putting their status in jeopardy.

Along with the fortunate news that you are now a legal permanent resident of the United States, also come the responsibilities that this entails. Living in the United States legally is today almost a privilege, and it is not easy to obtain this type of permit.

With these rights and privileges come obligations, and knowing them in depth is essential for any immigrant with permanent residence who wants to keep it and renew it later. We made a list of some of the most important duties and responsibilities that are part of being a US resident.

Never forget to file your taxes

As dictated by immigration laws, everyone who has permanent resident status must file their tax returns with the Internal Revenue Department (IRS) and also any other type of tax return required by their state or locality of residence.

The importance of doing this regularly and correctly lies in the fact that by not submitting the declarations corresponding to your status, this means before the law that you have abandoned being a permanent resident, and therefore, you could lose your benefits.

Get a Social Security Number

Getting a Social Security Card is definitely essential for any permanent resident. The Social Security Number allows immigrants to carry out all kinds of procedures, including the all-important tax return and obtaining employment in the country.

Do not let your Resident Card expire

Although it seems obvious, you should always keep in mind the expiration date of your Permanent Resident Card, renew it when necessary, and never let the document expire. On the official page of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) you will find all the information you need about the steps to follow to renew your residence.

Do I have to sign up for the Selective Service?

The Selective Service System (SSS) is a list kept by the United States government where all the names of eligible persons are registered and who may be required to serve in the military only in the case of a national emergency or a war.

However, this is only required if you are male and between 18 and 26 years of age. This is something that all US citizens and residents must do, and part of the responsibility of being a permanent resident is to register on this list.

Take care and comply with regulations when traveling

Although permanent residence allows you to leave and enter the country without problems, doing it properly is the key to not set off an immigration alarm that puts your status on the line.

One of the limitations is prolonged abandonment, either for work reasons or because you are living abroad. Being outside the United States for long periods of time for a year is a determining factor for USCIS to consider that the status has been abandoned, or even for your eligibility for naturalization to be delayed.

To reduce the risk of losing your residence, before leaving the United States you must first apply for a “re-entry permit” by filling out the so-called Form I-131 or Application for Travel Document. Another option may be that before leaving you send Form N-470, Application for
Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes. This will help protect your eligibility for naturalization.

Stay up to date on new responsibilities

The USCIS federal agency has a guide created especially for immigrants to know exactly everything about the rights and obligations they have within the United States. This is called Manual M-618, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.

Within this constantly updated guide, the responsibilities of being a permanent resident are specified. You can find it on the official website of the agency, and there you will find all the documents, procedures, and laws that will help you in your daily life within the country.

If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at (281) 606-0800!

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