LAW CORNER WITH JC 22 มิถุนายน 2562

IMMIGRATION – Post Green Card: What Happens After You Obtain Lawful Permanent Residency (PART 1)

Greetings everyone! This week I would like to discuss what happens after you receive your Permanent Residency Card, or commonly referred to as the "Green Card". In part 1, I will be answering the following: What do you do with it? Do you have to keep it with you at all times or can you leave it at home? And in part 2, I will continue with questions such as Do you need to renew it? And if so, when? These are just some of the questions that I have been asked in the past from those who have either recently received their Green Cards or those that are expecting theirs in the near future.

What Is A "Green Card"?

First of all, what is a "green card"? Physically, the green card is rectangular, similar in size to that of a driver's license, credit card, or membership I.D. In the past, the card was entirely green with white or black lettering, hence the name "Green Card". Presently the card is not just green, but is multi-colored. However, more important than the physical characteristics of the card, is the value as evidence it provides the owner; that is, it is proof of lawful immigration status here in the United States. The owner of the Green Card is authorized to not only live in the United States, but also, to be gainfully employed without general restrictions.

What do I do with my Green Card once I receive it? Do I have to keep it with me at all times?

1) Verify your information is correct: Once you receive your Green card, I would suggest that you immediately examine it to verify that your information is correct. Make sure your first name, last name, birthday, etc., is correct. More recently, information regarding when the person obtained residency was incorrectly indicated by USCIS (Note: I posted this issue on my Facebook page. Since then, many people have contacted me to tell me that their Green Cards were also wrong). Since mistakes can end up costing you time and money, especially when it comes to applying for Citizenship, be sure to check if all your information is correct!

2) Make a copy: After you've verified the information is correct, make a copy of the Green Card and keep it in a safe place. Although you can always request a new one if you were to perhaps lose it or have it stolen, it is always better to have proof of the original card.

3) Possession of the card: As for the actual Green Card and whether or not you have to keep it with you at all times - the official answer is YES. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), if you are a permanent resident aged 18 or older, you are required to have a valid Green Card in your possession at all times.

Although an officer can always check the system to verify your lawful residency status, it is much faster to simply present your card as proof. Most times, after you do show them your Green Card, they move on.

In part 2 of this topic, I will be discussing the process of renewing your green card as well as the benefits of having a green card. Stay tuned for that!

Immigration law can be confusing. We are here to help you. If you have any questions still left unanswered or you have questions regarding other legal issues such as Business, Family, or Property, email me at: JC4LAW@HOTMAIL.COM, call my office at (818) 846-5639, or my Thai direct line at (818) 505-4921. Also be sure to check us out on the web at: WWW.JC4LAW.COM, and now on FACEBOOK at: Be sure to follow (and "like") me for most recent updates in the law!

Disclaimer: The information contained herein have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice unless otherwise specified. If you have a specific question regarding your personal case, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph Chitmongran for a full consultation.