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Do you need to carry your green card?

A green card is the more common name for a Permanent Resident Card in the United States. This card shows the authorities that you have permission to work in the United States and to live within the country’s borders. You have gone through the immigration process and you are here legally.

Do you need to carry that card with you at all times? Or is it just good enough to have it safely tucked away at home?

Per U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you have a legal requirement to not only own a valid green card but also to carry it with you wherever you go. You must always have it. This applies if you are an adult who is at least 18 years old.

Think of it the way that people think of carrying a driver’s license. Most people just have it with them all the time, in a wallet or in a purse. Even if they are not going to be driving, it allows them to prove their identification if necessary — when buying alcohol or cigarettes, for instance. You want to keep your green card with you every day so that you can prove your identification and your status at a moment’s notice.

Wondering what to do if someone steals your card or it gets lost? There are steps you can take to have the card replaced. Do this as soon as possible.

As you can see, it is very important for you to know all the legal obligations you face as a permanent resident, along with the rights that your status provides.

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