Benefits of Green Card

Green Card is a commonly used name for Permanent Resident Card, previously known as Resident Alien Card.
Even though there are many benefits of having a green card, there are many restrictions and obligations as well.

  • Ability to leave/enter the U.S. at will without the risk of being denied entry by an Immigration Official at the port of entry. Make sure that you take your green card to show USCIS when you come back, also keep a record of the dates each time you leave and come back and always reenter legally (use the border checkpoint). No need to fill the I-94 form and no need to worry about expiration of authorized stay. Green card status is valid for lifetime, even though the proof of green card (the plastic card) itself is valid for 10 years and must be renewed.
  • Right to apply for government-sponsored financial aid for education.
  • Green card holders pay less tuition for university and college, referred to as “in-state” tuition or “resident” tuition. Savings are considerable and in most cases, they are 3 to 4 times lower than what foreigners pay.
  • Permission to work in any company located in U.S. territory regardless of job function, hours/week, etc. except for some companies that only hire U.S. citizens. No need for employer sponsorship.
  • Some jobs require security clearance that only green card holders and U.S. citizens can get. Therefore, a green card provides more job opportunities.
  • Permission to start own business and create own corporation.
  • Green card holders get Social Security benefits when they retire, if they worked for 10 years (40 quarters to be precise) before retiring.
  • Green card holders can sponsor spouse and unmarried minor children under 21 to obtain permanent status.
  • If you obtained green card for your family, they will retain it even if you pass away or lose your job.
  • Immunity against future changes in immigration rules that could hurt your temporary permit.
  • With work permit, primary visa holder’s spouse and minor unmarried children under 21 are allowed to stay in the U.S. as dependents. If you are in the U.S. on a work permit, your children will have to get student visas to study and work visas to work. However, once they get a green card, they can stay in the U.S. even after turning 21 and even if they get married.
  • Access to security clearances, eligibility for government grants and exemption from export restrictions.
  • Most legal rights under U.S. law, except for the right to vote which is available only to U.S. citizens.
  • Eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship later. You don’t have to take U.S. citizenship and you can be a green card holder forever. If the country of person’s current nationality allows dual citizenship, a person can get U.S. citizenship without giving up current nationality.
  • It may be easier to get a mortgage for home purchase. Many banks require green card or other long-term visa before granting a mortgage. Some banks may charge higher rates for non green card holders for a mortgage.
  • Some states require that you have a green card before granting you professional licenses such as real estate agent, insurance agent etc.
  • Many insurance companies require that the person have green card before giving health or life insurance.
  • Green card holders can permanently stay in the U.S. anywhere in the 50 states of United States.
  • Green card holders can make political campaign contributions in connection with state and federal elections. Other foreign nationals can’t.
  • Even though not applicable to most people, there may be a possible tax benefit to green card holder who may be taxed as “non-resident” in home country.
  • You can legally own property, cars, firearms and other items that any other average American does.