Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security

Rights and Responsibilities of a Green Card Holder (Permanent Resident)

Your Rights as a Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident (green card holder), you have the right to:

  • Live permanently in the United States provided you do not commit any actions that would make you removable under immigration law
  • Work in the United States at any legal work of your qualification and choosing. (Please note that some jobs will be limited to U.S. citizens for security reasons)
  • Be protected by all laws of the United States, your state of residence and local jurisdictions

Your Responsibilities as a Permanent Resident

As a permanent resident, you are:

  • Required to obey all laws of the United States the states, and localities 
  • Required to file your income tax returns and report your income to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities (see IRS link to the right)
  • Expected to support the democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means
  • Required, if you are a male age 18 through 25, to register with the Selective Service

For more information, see the “Maintaining Permanent Residence” and “International Travel as a Permanent Resident” pages.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/16/2010