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Feb 18, 2022 | Rommel H. Ojeda

Lawful Permanent Resident Status (LPR) for Immigrants in the U.S.

Residents with lawful permanent status, or green card holders, can live and work in the U.S. permanently and eventually apply for citizenship.
-> This article is part of Documented’s Glossary. We want to make it easier to understand the U.S. immigration system. If you want to know more about different visa types and immigration terms, please check our updated library here.
-> To find useful information for immigrants, such as where to find free food or legal representation, check out our Master Resource Guide.

Lawful Permanent Residents status (LPRs), also known as green card holders, are immigrants who are lawfully authorized to live permanently in the United States. Their status allow them to apply for work, own property, receive federal financial assistance, and live permanently anywhere in the United States.

LPRs can join the armed forces and later apply for citizenship, among other benefits. In order to successfully obtain citizenship, an LPR must maintain their status for five years (or three years through a marriage-based application) and successfully complete English and civic tests, also know as the citizenship test. Individuals will have to study, take and pass a test consisting of ten randomly selected questions, from a pool of 100, which tests one’s knowledge of U.S. history and government. Visit this link for more information.

LPRs who are under the age of 18 may become American citizens if a parent naturalizes.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the government prioritizes applications for those with permanent status differently. Applicants sponsored by a family member who is a citizen or LPR; applicants sponsored by an employer; investors who can create a specific amount of jobs in the country; applicants coming from countries with a low level of immigration to the U.S.; and those who were granted refugee or asylee status typically get higher priority.

There are usually two paths to become an LPR: Applying from inside the country and applying while abroad. 

Also read: Organizations Serving Immigrants in New York

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