Becoming a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S. can be an exciting privilege. It also, however, does come with some responsibilities. And understanding just what these responsibilities are is critical to maintaining this status, continuing to work and live in the U.S. and having the opportunity to become a citizen in the future (if desired).
Primary Responsibilities for LPRs
- Complying with all U.S. laws – This is the same for U.S. citizens, and it applies to all federal, state and local laws. While more minor violations may not necessarily impact an LPR status, facing charges of certain felony and/or violent crimes may result in a loss of LPR status (if not the possibility of deportation).
- Filing income taxes – This is another requirement that citizens and LPRs must fulfill every year, and it involves filing income taxes at the local, state and federal level (as is applicable to a given LPR’s earning situation). Keep in mind that filing income taxes is a responsibility for LPRs even if they are traveling abroad.
- Registering with the U.S. armed forces – This LPR responsibility primarily applies to males between the ages of 18 and 26 years old. For these LPRs, registering with the U.S. Selective Service will be necessary. Here, it should be noted, however, that registering with the Selective Service does not require LPRs to serve, as the U.S. does not currently have an active draft (meaning that citizens and LPRs can choose whether they want to serve).
- Maintaining your immigration status – This involves renewing the LPR status as necessary and not doing anything that would render that status invalid or abandoned. In other words, for LPRs who wish to travel outside of the U.S. for extended periods of time, it’s typically necessary to apply for a reentry permit (particularly if the trip will last longer than one year or it will result in the LPR living abroad during his or her absence from the U.S.).
- Notify USCIS of address changes – This needs to occur any time an LPR moves to a new residence, and the notification must be submitted to USCIS within 10 days of the move. While LPRs can submit new addresses in person at local USCIS offices, this can also be done online here.
For more extensive information regarding the rights and responsibilities that LPRs have, see this USCIS manual, M-618, Welcome to the U.S.: A Guide for New Immigrants.
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