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What are my rights under US permanent residency?

Immigrant rights are hotly discussed topic that does not always include factual information. Many immigrants in Louisiana struggle to separate fact from fiction, and remain unaware of their rights and protections. For those living in America under U.S. permanent residency, understanding those rights is essential to living full and productive lives.

Permanent residents may work lawfully in the United States and can be employed in any job that suits their skills and qualifications, with the exception of positions that require citizenship due to security. Residents are also protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which means that they cannot be discriminated against because of their ethnicity, race or national origin. This protection helps alleviate the stress that some immigrants experience when seeking employment.

Protections extend far outside of the workplace. Permanent residents may legally receive driver's licenses in any state, request visas for certain family members, utilize Medicare and can even apply for citizenship once eligible. Many residents also serve in the armed forces and vote in local elections that do not require citizenship. Also, contrary to popular belief, individuals can leave the country given the right circumstances, although those who choose to travel beyond the border should be aware of any issues that may complicate their return.

Living in Louisiana under U.S. permanent residency can be an incredibly rewarding opportunity for immigrants. However, it is easy to feel confused about rights, immigration status and other fundamental aspects of living in the United States as a noncitizen. Rather than trek through this journey alone, seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable counsel is often advisable due to the complicated nature of immigration law.

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