Know Your Rights: Permanent Resident Freedoms

While it is often assumed that non-citizens do not possess legal rights in the United States, it is important to note that permanent residents who have not fully completed the naturalization process are granted certain freedoms.  Here are some of these rights of permanent residents, according to FindLaw:

As a permanent resident, you have the right to:

  • Live and work permanently anywhere in the U.S.
  • Apply to become a U.S. citizen once you are eligible.
  • Request a visa for your husband or wife and unmarried children to live in the U.S.
  • Get Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare benefits, if you are eligible.
  • Own property in the U.S.
  • Apply for a driver’s license in your state or territory.
  • Leave and return to the U.S. under certain conditions.
  • Attend public school and college.
  • Join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Purchase or own a firearm, as long as there are no state or local restrictions saying you can’t.
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