What are the Benefits of Having a Green Card?

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What are the Benefits of Having a Green Card?

Next to U.S. citizenship, applying for and getting approved for a green card is the most coveted thing many foreigners who want to come to America desire. This is because the green card has many benefits that make it very attractive to foreigners. For the same reason, obtaining a green card is no easy task, as one must go through all manner of obstacles, including very hard-to-satisfy requirements. 

At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we have experienced immigration lawyers who help green card applicants in the Chicago area seamlessly go through the green card application process. Having a green card has several benefits, including the following:

  • You enjoy virtually all rights and privileges enjoyed by U.S. citizens other than the right to vote and the inability to work in certain sensitive government positions. On the other hand, there are many jobs where you will be more favorably considered to be hired over someone equally qualified who only has a temporary work visa.
  • As a green card holder, you can travel internationally more easily compared to nonimmigrant or temporary visa holders. As a permanent resident, you can travel outside the United States as many times as frequently as you wish, and each time you return, you will not have any issues if you return to the U.S. within 12 months. In some cases, if you plan to stay outside the United States for more than one year, you can apply for pre-authorization to do just that, so you are able to return to the U.S. after such an extended absence from the United States.
  • The green card holder status holder puts you on track to become a United States citizen. You may apply for citizenship if you obtained your green card through marriage to a United States citizen. Otherwise, you can go through the naturalization process after five years of being a green card holder.
  • Meanwhile, in the time you remain a green card holder, you do not have to renounce citizenship of your native country. 
  • You can petition USCIS to have your close family members be given green cards based on their family relationship with you. The close family members you can sponsor are your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. However, because it takes a long time to process some of these applications, it may be faster for you to apply and become a U.S. citizen and sponsor those relatives in that status, which would be faster.
  • In the unfortunate circumstances you commit a crime that renders you deportable, the green card holder cannot prevent the government from trying to have you deported, even if you are a green card holder. However, having that status as a green card holder would accord you defenses to deportation that are otherwise not available to anyone else. The best defense, however, is not committing any crime, as this also has a bearing when you apply for citizenship.

If you are in the Chicago area and are considering becoming a green card holder, contact our office and schedule an appointment to confidentially discuss your case.