If you seek to become a permanent resident, you're likely most interested in the new rights that you'll get. Not only will you lawfully be allowed to live in the United States, but you can own property, go to public schools, get a job, obtain a driver's license and apply to have family members join you in Louisiana. These are just a few examples, but they show you how beneficial this status can be.
However, it's important to look at both sides. Yes, you'll get new rights, but you'll also have new obligations. For example, you'll need to:
- Follow all laws at all levels. This includes local laws and ordinances, state and federal laws.
- Officially register with the United States Selective Service.
- Pay your taxes. Again, there may be local, state and federal taxes.
- Understand your immigration status and maintain it moving forward. You may eventually be able to become a legal citizen.
- Tell the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you are moving whenever you do. This has to be done within 10 days of the move. It can be done in writing or on the Internet.
- Keep your green card, which proves that you're a permanent resident, with you at all times.
Becoming a resident is exciting, and it can be life-changing. It's something that many people work toward for years. That said, don't just focus on the benefits. It's critical that you fully understand the legal process, the new obligations that come along with your status, and exactly what you must do moving forward to lawfully reside within the U.S. for years to come.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Welcome to the United States," accessed Oct. 25, 2017