A “Green Card” is the common name given to the I-551, Permanent Resident Card. In order to have a Green Card you must be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. There are several different ways to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR), or Green Card holder. The most common ways to obtain a Green Card are through Adjustment of Status (if within the United States) or Consular Processing (if outside the United States) and are based upon:

Call 617-926-8944 or click here to set up a consultation with one of our experienced immigration lawyers who can walk you through the process of obtaining a Green Card for you or a loved one.  Our Watertown immigration attorneys have experience obtaining Green Cards through interviews at: USCIS Boston, USCIS Lawrence and various Embassies/Consulates across the globe.


Green Card holders have the right to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Having a Green Card can also be a pathway to United States citizenship through the process known as Naturalization. Further, Green Card holders can:

    • Own property in the U.S.
    • Apply for a driver’s license
    • Attend public school and college
    • Join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Petition (or sponsor) for a visa for a spouse or unmarried child
    • Receive Social Security, Supplement Security Income, and Medicare benefits, if eligible
    • Purchase or own a firearm, depending on state and local restrictions


However, Green Card holders do have certain responsibilities which they must adhere to. Such responsibilities include:

    • Carrying your Green Card at all times
    • Informing DHS of your current address within 10 days of any change in address
    • Filing federal and state taxes returns
    • Paying federal, state and local taxes
    • Obeying all federal, state, and local laws
    • Registering with the Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26
It is also important to remember that being a Green Card holder means being a permanent resident of the US and living in the United States. Those Green Card holders who leave the US for extended periods of time, without prior permission or a Reentry Permit, are in danger of losing the Green Card if DHS has deemed that they abandoned their LPR status.