What shall one do after receiving a green card?

  • 3
    Apply for Global Entry? Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 23:19
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    If you have a limited-validity Real ID driver's license or state-issued identification card, you can renew it for maximum validity.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 3:13
  • 2
    If enrolled in a university or college, inform them as it may change your financial aid eligibility.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 18:27
  • It seems like the "here is what I am aware of" section ought to be an answer, not part of the question.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 9:39
  • @phoog done. Please do not remove your comment so that I don't get downvoted for rep farming, "do your homework", or other similar stupid reasons. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


Here is what I am aware of.

Actions to take ASAP:

  • Replace/update your SSN card. This can be done at your local social security center. See https://www.ssa.gov/
  • If employed: ask the employer to update the I-9
  • If you have some accounts at banks, insurance, mortgage: inform them about your residency status, as in some places you may be eligible for lower rate after getting the green card.
  • If you are a male between ages 18 and 25 (inclusive, i.e. who have reached their 18th birthday and who have not passed their 26th birthday): register with the Selective Service (U.S. Armed Forces)

Things to do until you get US citizenship:

  • Fill an form AR-11 (Alien's Change of Address Card: https://www.uscis.gov/ar-11) each time you move (AR-11 should be filled within ten days of moving)
  • Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times. (From https://citizenpath.com/carry-my-green-card-with-me/: "You are legally required to carry your green card with you if you are age 18 or older. Section 264(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that all permanent residents must have “at all times” official evidence of permanent resident status. A photocopy is not acceptable. If found guilty of this misdemeanor, the penalty set by law is a fine of up to $100 and up to 30 days in jail.")
  • Keep track of some information to be prepared to apply for naturalization in five years. Note that one can obtain the entries/exits to the US via a FOIA request.
  • If you plan to remain outside of the U. S. for six months or longer, you are strongly suggested to obtain a 'Re-entry Permit" before leaving the U.S.

Also beware that your tax reporting will changes slightly.

  • 5
    I guess I'd point out that replacing a lost green card is far more costly and time-consuming than just about anything else that might have been in the same lost wallet (and you may have trouble replacing a driver's license without the green card), which may partly explain why that is likely the most ignored immigration law that exists. I now carry mine when I'm not close to home, though, since stops of brown people by immigration seem to be increasing lately. I think replacing your SS card is only necessary if you find the "DHS authorization" legend annoying.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 3:45
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    @FrankDernoncourt, If you read INA 264 you'll see it applies to all "aliens", i.e. not just LPRs but also non-immigrants. For the latter the alien registration receipt one is supposed to carry "at all times" is typically an I-94, but many are no longer given a paper I-94 to carry (or passport stamps, even) so they are in violation of that law as soon as they leave immigration.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 3:24
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    My understanding (repeated in the linked article above) is that they now usually interpret "at all times" to mean you can go home and get it if they really want to see it, yet the law still exists and could be.enforced as written if they felt like it. When I balance that risk (hasn't happened yet) against the risk of losing my wallet (has happened) I usually lean towards leaving the card safe at home if I'm not traveling.
    – Dennis
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 3:45
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    @Dennis in short, the whole thing is a mess, and basically nobody is ever convicted under 1304(e) except in connection with other violations. See also US Office of Biometric Identity Management: statutory and regulatory authority?
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 4:35

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