Thu. Jul 18th, 2024
What Are the Benefits of Having a 2024 Green Card?

Unlock the full potential of living in the USA with a 2024 Green Card. Discover the advantages of permanent residency, including work freedom, family sponsorship, and a path to citizenship. Stay informed about the latest immigration reforms and how they enhance your journey to the American dream

Participating in the Green Card Lottery is one of the most proactive steps toward living and working in the United States. However, it comes with certain limitations and obligations.

Green Card holders are eligible for public benefits at the local, state, and federal levels. This includes access to social security, food assistance programs, and student loans.

1. Legal Permanent Resident

A Green Card, also known as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), legally allows an individual to live permanently in the United States. It gives holders the freedom to work, own property, obtain social security benefits, join the armed forces, and apply for U.S citizenship.

The process of obtaining a green card depends on the category for which you qualify. For instance, employment-based categories include subcategories such as professionals and skilled workers. Applicants with employment-based categories are also eligible to sponsor their immediate family members for green cards, including spouses and children under 21. Similarly, family-based categories allow sponsors to bring in their parents, siblings, and other extended family members.

Green card holders are also eligible for federal benefits, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Social Security. They can also apply for state-sponsored financial aid to attend college or university, and may be eligible for in-state tuition rates if they meet certain conditions.

As a legal resident, you can travel in and out of the United States as often as you like without having to worry about being denied reentry due to immigration violations. However, you must still maintain a valid passport from your country of origin and register for the Selective Service if you’re male between the ages of 18 and 25.

A green card holder is not required to pay income tax on all their worldwide earnings, but you must report all of your income and submit a federal tax return each year. You must also continue to file a state income tax return, and many state-specific tax rules apply. The laws are different for each state, so be sure to consult a qualified tax professional.

Legal Permanent Resident

2. No Visa Required

A green card allows you to legally live and work in the United States indefinitely. It also grants you the freedom to choose your place of residence. While you must reside near your employer if you have an employment-based Green Card, family-based Green Cards allow you to settle anywhere in the country.

You may also be eligible for governmental benefits, such as SNAP (food stamps), TANF (cash assistance), and Section 8 housing, which are available to low-income individuals and families. You may also be able to apply for federal student financial aid, significantly decreasing your university fees.

Moreover, green card holders can participate in the political process, from voting in local elections to making financial contributions or volunteering for candidates and campaigns. For many people, the ultimate aspiration is to attain US citizenship. A 2024 Green Card is the first step towards that goal.

As a legal permanent resident, you will have more extensive career prospects than non-permanent residents. The ability to work for government agencies, which are off-limits to non-permanent residents, can open the door to high-level positions and improved job stability.

Green card holders can sponsor their spouses, children, and parents for Green Cards, allowing them to immigrate to the United States. This is a great benefit for families who want to reunite with their loved ones.

However, it’s important to note that being selected for the DV-2024 lottery does not guarantee your Green Card. Applicants must meet the qualifications of the program and undergo an intense screening and verification process. To ensure your application is submitted correctly, you should always seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney. Fillmore Spencer Law offers free consultations to assess your eligibility and recommend the best pathways forward.

3. More Extensive Career Prospects

One of the biggest benefits of having a 2024 Green Card is the ability to apply for most jobs open to US citizens. This can give you a much more expansive career outlook, as it opens up a vast number of new job opportunities and industries that you may not have had access to previously.

Of course, obtaining your green card requires meeting certain criteria. The most common ways to do this are through family sponsorship, employment, or through the Diversity Visa Lottery. Some of these paths are more difficult than others. For example, obtaining a green card as an immediate relative through family sponsorship can take up to four years, depending on the category in which you qualify and the country from which you are seeking a visa.

In addition, most employment-based categories have specific eligibility requirements in terms of the level of education you need to perform your job duties. For instance, the EB-3 category includes careers that require at least a bachelor’s degree, and positions that demand more advanced degrees, such as Computer Engineers and Nuclear Physicists, typically need at least a master’s. This means that those who qualify for the EB-3 category will have to wait longer than other EB categories.

Fortunately, the DV lottery provides an opportunity for many individuals to gain their green cards more quickly. The US government selects winners each year and then awards them their green cards. However, it is important to note that just winning the lottery does not guarantee a fast track to a green card, as many of these individuals are still subject to various visa and employment-based processing delays. This can vary by country, but it is important to research the process thoroughly before applying.

4. Legally Protected

As a LPR with a 2024 Green Card, you enjoy various legal protections, including being exempt from the immigration and naturalization laws that would otherwise require your return to your country of origin. You also have full access to work and travel rights in the United States, though you should consult an immigration attorney before traveling abroad because leaving the country for too long could potentially cause your visa status to expire or result in deportation.

A green card holder is also protected from discrimination in the workplace because of a certain trait or group of traits. The federal anti-discrimination laws that establish protected traits include race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, and veteran status. These statutes protect people from being denied employment, housing, public accommodations, and governmental benefits because of specific traits like those listed above.

In addition to these protections, a green card holder is eligible for public benefits and financial aid from the federal government. For example, a green card holder can receive Medicare Part B and Part C, which cover doctor visits and hospital stays. Additionally, you can take advantage of the ACA (Obamacare) health insurance marketplace, though eligibility for these programs depends on your state of residence.

The only caveat is that receiving some types of public benefits may put you at risk for deportation if the Department of Homeland Security decides that you committed a crime or were involved in any activity that could be considered a violation of U.S. law while you were a non-citizen. However, a qualified immigration attorney can explore other ways to help you maintain your green card in the event of an issue like this.

Legally Protected

5. No Need to Renew

Having your Green Card expire can have consequences that are more serious than simply being unable to work legally in the US. In the worst-case scenario, if you are outside of the United States when your Green Card expires, you could be permanently barred from re-entering the country. Fortunately, it is possible to renew your Green Card before it expires in order to avoid these potential issues.

To do so, you must submit a Form I-90, along with supporting documentation and the applicable fee. The fee varies depending on the circumstances, but it can be paid online, by personal check or money order, through USCIS’s Application Support Center (ACS) appointment or by mail. Once you file your form, you will be required to attend a biometrics appointment at your local ACS office where you will be photographed and fingerprinted. If you cannot attend the appointment, you will have to provide a statement explaining why and pay an additional biometric services fee of $85 to cover the costs associated with retaking your photos and fingerprints.

Once your Green Card is renewed, you will have the same rights as a legal citizen of the United States, including the right to work legally in any job that pays at least minimum wage. In addition, you will have the opportunity to apply for federal benefits like Social Security and Medicare. You will also be eligible for in-state tuition rates at universities, allowing you to save a significant amount of money on education.

Of course, you must continue to abide by all laws and not commit crimes that would deprive you of your Green Card. Additionally, if you are convicted of a serious felony or crime that involves moral turpitude, your renewal will be denied.

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