Among the immigrants who live and work here in the U.S. are green card holders. These individuals have permanent resident status in the U.S. and enjoy the rights that go along with this status. There are many such rights. We went over some of the prominent ones in a past post.
However, permanent residents are also subject to limits that U.S. citizens generally are not. For example, green card holders are barred from:
- Serving on a jury.
- Voting in federal elections.
- Running for office.
Other concerns that can come up for green card holders that generally don’t for naturalized U.S. citizens are worries regarding their personal U.S. immigration situation. For example, permanent residents can still face the possibility of deportation. There are various things that could put a green card holder at risk of facing deportation proceedings, including certain types of criminal convictions.
So, while there are many benefits to being a U.S. green card holder, becoming a full U.S. citizen carries even further protections and rights. This is among the things individuals with a U.S. green card may want to keep mind when thinking about whether or not they are going to try to pursue U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process. When thinking of pursuing any major change in their U.S. immigration status, a person may want to talk about the considered change with an immigration lawyer. Such lawyers can provide explanations on what impacts such a change would have (including impacts on the rights and protections one would enjoy) and help with pursuing such a change.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “7 facts about the coveted green card,” Ann M. Simmons, Aug. 2, 2017