Green Card Holder Responsibilities

Your responsibility to the U.S. government does not end once you receive your Green Card.

Change of Address

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


Once you are a permanent resident, travel is generally not a problem, provided you have a valid passport from your country of citizenship and your Permanent Resident card. Currently, USCIS is issuing permanent residence cards for 10 year periods. You must renew this card before the expiration date. Upon filing your request to renew your green card, you will receive a formal receipt notice from USCIS that will extend the valdity of the green card by 12 months.

If you plan to remain outside the U.S. for more than one year, it is necessary to apply for a reentry permit before leaving the country. Additionally, we recommend obtaining a reentry permit for periods over six months to avoid potential complications when reentering. Application for a reentry permit is made using Form I-131 Advance Parole 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 will 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 academic 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

All permanent residents of the U.S. must have a Social Security number. If any of your family members have not yet applied for Social Security numbers, they must now do so. If you previously obtained a Social Security number while in a non-immigrant status, you may consider updating your record with the Social Security Administration.  For information, refer to the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Selective Service Registration

All male U.S. permanent residents who are of draft age (between the ages of 18 to 27) must register with the Selective Service. There is very little that can be done to remedy a failure to register once an individual has turned 27. Please understand that the knowing or willful failure of a male, draft-age permanent resident to register will prejudice eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Selective Service Registration may be done online.


As a U.S. permanent resident you must always pay taxes as a “resident” for tax purposes. Failure to file U.S. tax returns as a resident evidences a clear intention to be considered a nonresident of the United States, which constitutes an intention to abandon permanent resident status. Claiming nonresident tax treatment pursuant to a tax treaty between your home country and the U.S. will also be deemed an abandonment of permanent residence.