Green Card Holder Responsibilities

Your responsibility to the U.S. government does not end once you receive your Green Card. Below is a non-exhaustive list of important considerations and responsibilities for U.S. permanent residents. Additional governmental resources are listed at the bottom of this page.  Should you have any questions about these responsibilities or how to comply, please speak with an experienced immigration attorney.

Change of Address

You must report any change of address to USCIS within 10 days of the move, by filing an AR-11, Alien's Change of Address Card. Filing this form can be done online and is free of charge.


Once you are a permanent resident, international travel is generally not a problem, provided you have a valid passport from your country of citizenship and your PR Card.

If you plan to remain outside the U.S. for more than one year, it is necessary to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country. Additionally, it is recommended you obtain a re-entry permit for stays abroad lasting more than six months but less than one year to avoid potential complications when re-entering. Applications for a re-entry permit are made using Form I-131 application for travel document.

If you must remain outside the U.S. for extended periods of time, please note that obtaining a reentry permit or making a return trip to the U.S. once or twice a year for a few weeks may not be enough to maintain permanent resident status. USCIS examines the reasons for the extended absence, the individual's intentions, and other factors establishing the person's ties to the U.S..

Faculty and staff who will be on extended leaves from the University should take steps to preserve their permanent resident status prior to leaving the country. Therefore, if you plan to remain outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Social Security Number

It is recommended you update your immigration status with the Social Security Administration. Doing so will not change your Social Security Number. All U.S. permanent residents qualify for a Social Security number. For information, refer to the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Selective Service Registration

All male U.S. permanent residents between ages 18 and 26 are required to register with the Selective Service System. Please be aware that knowingly or willfully failing to register with the Selective Service when required may prejudice eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Selective Service Registration may be done online.


As a U.S. permanent resident you are required to file a federal income tax return as well as any applicable state, city or local tax returns. Note that U.S. permanent residents who are required to file their tax return as a resident but fail to do so, or who file their tax return as a “nonresident alien,” may be considered to have abandoned their status and may lose permanent resident status.

PR Renewal/Extension

Currently, USCIS is issuing the PR card (Form I-551) for a period of 10 years and it should be renewed prior to the expiration date using the Form I-90: “Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card.”  Upon filing the Form I-90, you should receive a formal receipt notice.  This receipt notice extends the validity of your PR card by 24 months. Note that if you received a “conditional” green card that is valid for two years, you will need to file a separate petition to have those conditions removed within the required time frame.

For Additional Resources, see:

•    Rights and Responsibilities of a Green Card Holder
•    Maintaining Permanent Residence
•    Welcome to the United States – A Guide for New Immigrants
•    International Travel as a Permanent Resident
•    I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
•    Obtaining an ADIT stamp - alternative evidence of status: request an appointment at USCIS local field office
•    Extension of Permanent Residence Card for Naturalization Applicants