There is a lot of inaccurate information floating around about immigrantion these days. Sometimes it’s the result of changing policies and sometimes rumors. With immigrantion a top story in the current US political climate, it’s hard to know what is true. Whatever the discussion, green cards tend to be at the heart of the debate.

What is a green card?

The green card is a casual name given to the permanent resident card, which is the official documentation that a foreign national needs to work and live in the US. It’s also the first step toward naturalization, better known as citizenship.

What are the benefits of a green card?

The green card isn’t just legal documentation: it grants freedom to participle in the US socially. Without the predominant fear of deportation, green card holders can travel the country, collect government benefits and insurance coverage, and sponsor family members for US residency.

It’s true that the permanent resident card still lacks the authority of citizenship—it can be taken away—but it provides peace of mind to move forward in your settlement in a new country. After five years, green card holders can apply for citizenship.

What are the conditions?

While a green card gives security, it can be revoked.

The most common reasons why include when a judge finds parties guilty of a crime, fraud or falsification of documents.

Other conditions include:

  • Moving to another country
  • Leaving the US for an extended period
  • Failure to file income tax returns
  • Declaring yourself a nonimmigrant on tax forms

Changing immigrantion policy

The law is frequently changing, and immigrantion policy is one of the Trump administration’s aims. One recent change that affects green card holders is your interview for an adjustment of status. In recent times, only a select amount of applicants had in-person interviews. In-person interviews are now required of all applicants.

An experienced immigrantion attorney can help you understand the current law and how it affects your status amid all the changes–whether real or rumor. A lawyer can help you file the correct paperwork and document your status to comply with federal regulations, saving you stress and time so you can focus on your own personal situation.