Green Card: Benefits and Obligations

The official name of the Green Card is the United States Permanent Resident Card. What exactly is it? It is a form of identification that confirms the residence in the United States of a person who is not a citizen, but has the same rights as he or she does. The only exception is the right to vote in elections.
The holder of a Green Card (permanent residency permit) is a permanent resident of the United States.

There are many ways to gain residency in the U.S.: lottery, work, marriage, family ties, investment, refugee status.

Benefits:

Legal residency in the U.S..
The Green Card allows you to legally reside in the U.S. for 10 years, after which the card is renewed. However, the Green Card holder must report a change of address and must inform the immigration authorities of his/her new address within 10 days.
Free movement across U.S. borders
As a Green Card holder, you are permitted to travel in and out of the United States without restriction. Please note: after being out of the U.S. for more than six months, the cardholder must provide a good reason for his or her prolonged absence from the country.

If the cardholder stays outside the U.S. for more than a year, he or she is considered to be voluntarily surrendering his or her green card. Moreover, in this case, the total period of stay is interrupted. This can have a negative impact on your future citizenship.
Same rights as a U.S. citizen, except the right to vote
Becoming a green card holder grants a resident all the rights of a U.S. citizen, except the right to vote. Permanent U.S. resident has the right to the protection of family and business interests by U.S. law, the right to cross the border without a visa, to take loans, mortgages on favorable terms, discounts, grants and scholarships for education, the right to work, to open their own business and much more.

Become a U.S. Citizen
To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must be a permanent resident (Green Card holder) for more than five years and be in the United States for at least six months each year. You must also have resided in the state where you are applying for citizenship for at least three months prior to applying.

Freedom to work in the United States.
A green card holder is free to work in any position except a political one.
To hire a foreign national, the employer must apply for a permit. A Green Card holder, as a legal resident of the country, can hold any position (except political) without the need to collect additional documents and costs.

Pension and Social Security Benefits
After 10 years of employment, a Green Card holder can qualify for pension and social security benefits such as financial assistance for disability, disability, loss of earnings and others.

Insurance
America has one of the most advanced insurance systems in the world. Most Americans have insurance for almost everything: health, life, property, etc. You can get insurance with any immigration status, but if you have a Green Card, the conditions and costs of insurance will be different.

Reduced interest rates on loans
It’s much easier to get a loan with the Green Card, and bank interest rates are much lower.
For foreign nationals, U.S. banks also give loans, but with stricter terms. For example, interest on a home loan for U.S. citizens and residents will be about 3 percent to 4.5 percent. For foreign citizens, the interest on a loan will start at 7%.
A borrower without a green card will have to put down a deposit of up to 40% of the loan amount, while for a U.S. resident the down payment will be about 10% or not required at all.

Education
Children of a green card holder may receive a free education at state and local schools, as well as at some colleges and universities. Tuition fees at state universities are significantly lower for Green Card holders than for international students.
Some universities can lower the price substantially for residents of the state in which they are located. The difference can range from 10% to 200%.
Universities set their own requirements for determining residency status. In most cases it is a requirement that the family has lived and paid taxes for more than two years in the state where the university is located.

Visa-Free Travel
Visa-free travel for Green Card holders can be obtained in the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, etc.

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