New Permanent Resident Guide

I just became a U.S. Permanent Resident. What are my responsibilities?

Welcome to the United States! New permanent residents (“Green Card holders”) may or may not immediately know what their responsibilities in the United States are. This guide will go over everything there is to know about the responsibilities you have as a Green Card holder in order to protect and maintain your permanent resident status.


Who is subject to United States law?

Everyone in the United States must abide by U.S. law, including Federal, State and local laws and regulations. Lawful permanent residents who fail to obey the laws of the United States may have their green card status taken away through removal/deportation proceedings.


USA Guide


Do I have to file a tax return with the IRS?

It is very important to note that if you are a permanent resident and intend to maintain your permanent resident status, that you file a Federal tax return and any applicable State, city and local tax returns with the IRS. In U.S. immigration law, a permanent resident who is required to file a tax return as a resident and fails to do so, or who files as a nonresident alien, may be considered to have abandoned his or her status and is at risk of losing his or her green card.

Visit the IRS website at for more information about taxes and tax returns.

Please consult with our Los Angeles immigration attorney if you have any concerns.


Should I get a Social Security Number?

Lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number and are encouraged to apply for an original Social Security card for taxes and employment purposes.

Applicants for adjustment of status who received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card prior to the approval of their Green Card may apply for a Social Security card once he or she has received this EAD card. Otherwise, once you have received the physical green card, you may visit the Social Security Administration office nearest you to obtain a new Social Security Number.

Visit the SSA’s website at for more information.


Do I need to register with the Selective Service?

The only individuals who must register with the Selective Service are males between the ages of 18 and 26. Most male applicants for Adjustment of Status on Form I-485, already gave USCIS consent to register himself with the Selective Service at the time of filing the application.

If the above criteria fits you and you have not already registered with the Selective Service, visit for more information and registration.


Green Card Approved


What should I do if my Green Card is about to expire?

It is very important to keep your permanent resident card up to date. Be sure to file to renew your Green Card before it expires. If your permanent resident card is valid for only two years and will expire soon, you are a conditional resident and must file a petition to remove the conditions of residence (Form I-751), in order to obtain a full 10 year Green Card.

If you already have a 10 year Green Card but it will expire within the next 6 months, you must file an application to renew or replace your Green Card (Form I-90). Our experienced immigration lawyer can help with either of these applications.


I am an LPR. Can I travel outside of the United States?

U.S. permanent resident status normally permits you to travel outside the United States and return. However, lengthy absences can sometimes result in loss of permanent resident status or delayed eligibility for U.S. naturalization. An absence of 1 year or longer can cause serious problems and it is encouraged you speak with our U.S. immigration lawyer prior to making travel plans.


travel permit


You may be able to highly reduce the risk of abandonment by requesting a reentry permit from USCIS. A reentry permit is issued and valid for 2 year periods and will allow for a Green Card holder to reenter without any problems.

Read more about reentry permits here

We strongly encourage you to reach out to our knowledgeable U.S. immigration attorneys in Los Angeles if you have any additional questions that need answers. We offer a free consultation and have a guaranteed 24 hour response time!

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