Immigration law topics can be very complex and confusing, and it can even be difficult for those well acquainted with immigration guidelines to fully understand the differences between specific immigration statuses. For instance, many Florida residents are familiar with green cards; however, they may have a difficult time explaining how permanent residency differs from citizenship status. For those considering their U.S. immigration options, understanding the major requirements and protections associated with applying for permanent residency can be incredibly helpful.
According to The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are several ways in which a person can qualify for permanent residency. For instance, refugee or asylum status often qualifies for permanent residency consideration. Similarly, many people achieve permanent residency through their employment or family. Once permanent residency is granted to a person, he or she has the right to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. However, a number of stipulations apply.
The University of California, San Francisco discusses some of the legal protections that permanent residency affords, and explains that qualifying green card holders are subject to several restrictions. For instance, some job positions are reserved exclusively for U.S. citizens. A person with permanent residency may also be prohibited from voting in some elections. Green card holders can also be subject to deportation under certain circumstances.
Provided that a person with permanent residency status complies with immigration and deportation guidelines, he or she is eligible to live in the country indefinitely. He or she is also protected by all state and federal laws, and may be eligible to vote in some elections. Beyond that, a green card holder can typically seek legal employment in a number of fields.