Ten Benefits of Having a U.S. Green Card

It’s no surprise that living in the United States as a legal permanent resident or green card holder has a lot of advantages. 

This article discusses some of the top benefits you can enjoy as a green card holder. 

And if you don’t have a green card yet, these are some of the top benefits you can look forward to on your journey to becoming a green card holder.

These benefits cut across travel to finance to employment. 

Let’s dive in!

Join over 1,000 subscribers receiving exclusive content on the latest U.S. immigration trends for FREE!

#1 Ease of travel to The United States

With a green card, there is no need to worry about applying for a new visa or renewing an existing one. This is a massive benefit for people from countries typically receiving 2-year nonimmigrant U.S. visas.

#2 Visa-free travel to many countries

Many countries offer visa-free travel to holders of a valid green card regardless of nationality. These include Canada, Mexico, and many other countries in the Caribbean.

However, in addition to these nearby countries, other distant countries such as Albania, Costa Rica, and Georgia offer visa-free travel to green card holders regardless of nationality.

#3 Ease of obtaining travel visas to other countries

While you may enjoy fewer visa-free travel opportunities than U.S. Citizens, generally speaking, you will find less scrutiny when applying for a travel visa as a valid U.S. green card holder.  

#4 More job opportunities and better job security

One of many challenges of working in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa is that, in most cases, there is a limitation on who you can work with or what you can work on. 

For example, an international student working in the United States on optional practical training (OPT) can only pursue opportunities related to their field of study.

In the case of someone on an H1B or L1 visa, you are generally limited to working with the sponsoring employer at any time. 

You can kiss all these restrictions goodbye with a green card in hand. 

Furthermore, within the U.S. government sector and in some private industries, job opportunities are restricted to people classified as U.S. persons who are legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens. 

But with a green card, your job opportunities within these restrictive sectors increase. 

In addition to more job opportunities, there is more job security and peace of mind when you hold a green card.

If you work or have worked in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, this one should be very close to your heart.

And that is the peace of mind knowing that your ability to remain in the United States is not tied to your employment status. 

We’ve all heard of periods of massive layoffs in sectors with many nonimmigrants. Unfortunately, for many nonimmigrant workers in these sectors, the employer not only hands them a pink slip when they get laid off, but the U.S. government also requires the employer to provide them with a return ticket to their home country.

As you can imagine, that’s a lot of added pressure to deal with, knowing that if you lose your job, you are given a very short time to secure another employment. Otherwise, you’ll violate your immigration status by remaining unemployed after this brief period. 

#5 No need for employment sponsorships from employers

You can side-skirt the notorious employment sponsorships many U.S. employers tend to avoid when hiring. Thus, hopping from one company to the other becomes much more accessible. 

#6 Starting and running a business 

Are you itching to launch a startup or a small business but are limited by the conditions of your nonimmigrant visa? Well, now you’re free to own and operate a business! 

This is a massive benefit to H1B workers in the United States who are restricted from engaging in any type of employment other than those for their sponsoring employer. 

#7 Better access to capital

Are you looking for a mortgage or any other type of loan? Well, the not-so-great news is that being on a nonimmigrant status, financial institutions see you as a high-risk borrower. 

And in the limited circumstance that you are approved for a loan, you won’t get the best interest rates.

#8 Lower cost of higher education

Suppose you wanted to pursue a degree. In that case, you can qualify for in-state tuition rather than the out-of-state tuition most international students are subject to at state universities.

In addition, there are several grants and scholarships that you become eligible for as a U.S. permanent resident.

#9 Qualify for unemployment benefits

This one can be a hotly debated topic in the immigration space. Still, it’s good to know that if your employer lays you off, you can easily qualify for unemployment benefits in your state of residence.

#10 Getting Approved for TSA pre-Check

Now you know we had to save the best for last!

If you frequent airports, you will understand how beneficial it is to travel through airports when you have TSA pre-check, which is only available to U.S. green card holders, nationals, and citizens.

No more waiting in long lines and struggling to go through airport screening. And for an ultra VIP airport treatment, you can combine your TSA Precheck with a CLEAR pass