As discussed in our other article on the benefits of lawful permanent residency, obtaining lawful permanent resident card comes with both numerous benefits and a number of obligations.
Some of the most important obligations to keep in mind as a lawful permanent resident or someone pursuing lawful permanent residency are:
· Filing taxes;
· Registering with the selective service (Only if the client is male age 18 through 25);
· Maintaining U.S. residency; and,
· Keeping a current address on file with the Department of Homeland Security.
Yes. All U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents must report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state taxing authorities. A legal permanent resident is generally subject to the same tax as a U.S. citizen. This means you must report all interest, dividends, wages, compensation for services, income from rental property, or other all income on your U.S. tax return. This applies to your worldwide income. This is regardless of whether you earned your income in the U.S. or abroad. This does not necessarily mean the client will owe the U.S. government taxes, but a tax return should always be filed. For specific tax concerns clients should consult a U.S. tax attorney or other licensed U.S. tax professional.
What is selective service and who has to register?
The Selective Service System is a U.S. government agency that maintains information on those who may be subject to a future military service. By law, all males in the U.S. aged 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service. It is important to note that even if a client or a client’s dependent is registered, that does not automatically mean the individual will be called into military service, only that it is possible should the U.S. armed forces undergo a draft.
Do clients need to register if they are female or become a legal permanent resident at 26 years of age or older?
No. The current law only requires males aged 18 to 25 to register. If you or your family member turns 18 while a lawful permanent resident, they will need to register within 30 days of their birthday.
How do clients maintain lawful permanent status in the U.S.?
As mentioned in our earlier blog post in August, once a client becomes a lawful permanent resident they must maintain that status either for as long as they intend to reside in the United States or until undergoing the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen. It is possible to abandon permanent residency, either intentionally or unintentionally, and also possible to have status as a lawful permanent resident revoked. There are a number of scenarios in which a person can lose status as a lawful permanent resident.
The first is through abandoning permanent residence in the U.S. If the client moves to another country with the intent to live their permanently, leaves the U.S. for an extended period of time without a re-entry permit, identifies as a “nonimmigrant” on U.S. tax returns, or fail to file income tax returns the client may be considered to have “abandoned” your status. In some rare instances, such as the commission of immigration fraud or the commission of another serious crime, the U.S. government can revoke a green card holders U.S. permanent residence.
What happens if a client changes their address in the U.S?
Nearly every non-U.S. citizen living in the U.S. is required to update their address with the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) within 10 days of moving. People who do not need to notify USCIS of their change of address include: diplomats, foreign government representatives, and some nonimmigrants without visas who are in the U.S. for less than 20 days. A change of address can be easily submitted online through the completion of Form AR-11 on the USCIS website.