Adjustment of Status

Permanent Residency Status

In the United States, permanent residency refers to a person’s immigration status. A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) is not a U.S. citizen but is authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. A Lawful Permanent Resident is also known as a Permanent Resident Alien, Resident Alien Permit Holder, and Green Card Holder.

The process of getting a “Green Card” while in the United States is called Adjustment of Status. By comparison, the process of getting a green card from outside the United States is called Consular Processing.

It is important to understand that permanent residency is a privilege under the law. It can be revoked, even after receiving a green card.

How to become a Lawful Permanent Resident?

There are several pathways to become a Lawful Permanent Resident. Many individuals obtain LPR status through family sponsorship, others seek it through refugee or asylum status, or through the Diversity Visa (Green Card) lottery.

There are also several employment-based immigrant visa in the employment sector who qualify for Adjustment of Status at some point.

Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik is experienced in Adjustment of Status applications.  Contact her today to check whether you are eligible for Adjustment of Status and get more information.

Rights and Responsibilities of Permanent Residents

Permanent residency status carries with it a number of important rights and responsibilities; some of these include the following:

  • The right to live permanently in the United States, as long as the permanent resident does not commit any violations that would warrant removal under U.S. law
  • The right to work in the United States
  • The right to be protected by the laws of the United States, the permanent resident’s state of residence, and local jurisdictions

In addition to the aforementioned rights, permanent residents also have the following responsibilities:

  • Permanent residents must obey the laws of the United States, the separate states, and all localities
  • They must file income tax returns and report their income to the United States Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities
  • Green Card holders are expected to support the United States’ democratic form of government and not to change the government through illegal means
  • Male Green Card holders who are 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service

Green Cards

A Green Card is the informal name for a U.S. government issued I.D. that serves as proof of an individual’s permanent residency status. The official title for Green Cards is the United States Permanent Resident Card. However, it is often referred to as a Green Card because it was the color green from 1946 through 1964, and again from 2010 on. Green Card holders should keep in mind that like any lawful permanent resident, they can have their status revoked and removed from the U.S. if they violate certain conditions

Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik has processed numerous Lawful Permanent Residency applications and will be happy to assist you with your Adjustment of Status petition. Please contact her for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

Green Card Lottery

Every year 50,000 green cards are allocated through a random drawing popularly known as the green card lottery. You can enter the lottery if you are a native of a qualifying country and have a high school diploma.

Step One: Registration

The initial registration is free but you can be disqualified if the application is not properly completed. A new application is required every year.

Step Two: Green Card Application

If your name has been drawn in the lottery, you must act quickly to apply for a green card. You will be given a case number, which is also called a rank number. Speed and accuracy are important. The United States notifies twice as many people as there are green cards available. It assumes that some of these people either will not qualify or will change their mind about immigrating. It is possible that even though you win the lottery, that year’s green card allotment will be used up before your own interview is scheduled, so you will not get a green card.

Step Three: Entering the United States with your Green Card

You must enter the United States within 6 months of a successful green card application. However, a person only obtains official green card status after being inspected and admitted into the United States. The actual physical green card will be ordered and sent by mail to you.



Additional Information

Permanent Resident

Green Card

Travel Documents

Medical Examination

USCIS Office near you

Department of State

Filing Fees



Form I-485, Form i-693, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status