Green Card Benefits, Limitations, and Responsibilities Explained

by: Attorney Noyes

8/4/20232 min read

A green card opens doors to living and working in the United States and sets individuals on the path to becoming naturalized citizens. While green card holders enjoy various privileges, they also face certain limitations compared to U.S. citizens. Let's explore the benefits, rules, and responsibilities that come with being a green card holder:

Limitations on Green Card Holders:

1. Expatriation and Exit Taxes: If you leave the U.S. for eight years or more, you may face expulsion and exit taxes upon returning.

2. Deportation: Green card holders are not guaranteed complete protection from deportation in case of committing a crime or violating laws.

3. Renewal Requirement: Green cards must be renewed at a significant cost every ten years.

4. Children Born Abroad: Green cards cannot be extended to children born outside the U.S.

5. Political Office: Green card holders are ineligible to run for political office.

6. U.S. Passport: Green card holders are not issued a U.S. passport.

7. Voting Rights: Green card holders do not have the right to vote in U.S. elections.

Benefits of Green Card Holders:

1. Traveling Abroad: Green card holders can travel abroad if they return within 12 months.

2. Freedom to Live Anywhere: Green card holders can live in any part of the United States.

3. Federal Benefits: Green card holders are eligible for federal benefits, including in-state tuition rates, social security benefits, and financial aid.

4. Job Opportunities: Unlike individuals on work visas, green card holders have a broader range of job opportunities.

5. Family Sponsorship: Green card holders can sponsor their spouses and children.

6. Legal Protection: Under U.S. laws, green card holders enjoy legal protection.

7. Path to Citizenship: Green card holders can apply for U.S. citizenship after three to five years.

Responsibilities of Green Card Holders:

1. Carry a Valid Green Card: Green card holders must always have their green card with them, as failure to do so could result in a 30-day jail term.

2. Selective Service Registration: Male green card holders between 18 and 25 must register for Selective Service upon entering the U.S.

3. Obey U.S. Laws: Green card holders are required to comply with U.S. laws.

4. Income Tax Returns: Like U.S. citizens, green card holders must file income tax returns and report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

While the benefits of being a green card holder are numerous, it is essential to understand the limitations and responsibilities that come with it. If you need guidance or assistance with any aspect of the green card process, consider seeking help from Noyes & Associates. Our team of highly qualified immigration attorneys specializes in cases like yours, ensuring the best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the next step toward securing your future in the United States.