Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. comes with both advantages and responsibilities.
Four of the biggest benefits to lawful permanent residency are work authorization, mobility/visa free travel in and out of the U.S., the ability to sponsor relatives, and higher education benefits for clients and their children.
Do clients need a separate employment verification card once they receive their permanent resident card?
No, the permanent resident card, or “green card” itself, is evidence of work authorization and shows employers the client is legally allowed to work in the U.S. Apart from a select number of jobs that require U.S. citizenship green card holders are generally authorized to pursue nearly any occupation or job opportunity they desire.
Can the client obtain work authorization while the green card application is pending?
Yes, if the client files for the green card through the adjustment of status process in the United States. While the adjustment of status application is pending the client can file an application for employment authorization on Form I-765. Once the application is processed the client will typically receive an Employment Authorization Document card (EAD Card) within approximately 90-120 days.
What documents do clients need to travel abroad as a lawful permanent resident?
For trips abroad under six months long clients will generally only need to show U.S. Customs and Border Patrol a valid passport and a valid unexpired lawful permanent resident card or “green card.” This may also be true of trips up to 12 months long, but the longer the trip the more cautious the client may want to be. When a client plans to travel outside the U.S. for longer than 12 months a re-entry permit may be required to ensure they can return without difficulty. The re-entry permit, if approved, allows international travel up to two years in duration without abandoning permanent residency.
Can the client sponsor family members for U.S. permanent residency?
As discussed in our earlier blog post, as lawful permanent residents clients can sponsor spouses and/or certain family members for permanent residency in the U.S.
Can clients and their dependents qualify for lower tuition rates or U.S. government student aid as a green card holder?
The U.S. is home to some of the best universities in the world. Every year over 1,000,000 international students choose to enroll in U.S. higher education.
Tuition and aid requirements vary depending on state law and the rules of each school. Typically, a lawful permanent resident is eligible for federal student loans, grants, certain state sponsored scholarships and, in some instances, either out of state or in state tuition rates depending on state and length of residency.