There are many benefits of obtaining a US green card, which is why many immigrants to the US apply for a green card as soon as they are eligible. Also known as permanent residency, a green card entitles you to several important benefits:
- The freedom to work and live in the US permanently. With a green card, you can live and work in the US permanently. You can take any work you wish in the US, including many forms of government work. There are a few levels of security clearance which only US citizens qualify for, but green card holders can apply for virtually any job in the US. You will not need additional work authorization to work in the United States. With a green card, you can make the US your permanent home and place of residence.
- Freedom of movement. Once you are a green card holder, you can travel outside of the US and return freely. You can also travel anywhere within the US you wish and live in any part of the US you wish. If you do plan on leaving the country for more than six months, however, you may wish to take additional steps to safeguard your permanent residency.
- The ability to sponsor relatives. Once you are a US green card holder, you can sponsor your relatives to get their own green card. Therefore, you can ensure that your family is united in the US and enjoys the same right to live and work in the US.
- The ability to seek US citizenship. Once you have had your US green card for five years, you may qualify to apply for US citizenship, which will give you the right to vote and run for office.
- Legal rights. With permanent residence in the US, you can get many social benefits, including research grants, taxation benefits, insurance coverage, social security benefits, state sponsorship in education, research, retirement benefits, and health benefits. With a US green card, you can also own firearms, a house, cars, and other property in the US and even secure financing for these purchases.
- Permanent status. With many nonimmigrant visas, you are only allowed a specific status for a short period of time and you must reapply in order to extend your stay. A green card, however, confers permanent status, so that you typically do not need to worry about reapplying for your status. Instead, you will only need to renew your green card every ten years or so, which is a very simple process.