If you’re looking for information on the rights of permanent residents in Hawaii, you’re in the right place.
Obtaining permanent residency in the United States is a dream come true for many immigrants. Not only does the status take you one step closer to obtaining your American citizenship, but as a resident, you can enjoy many of the same benefits as do the citizens of the U.S.
If you’re curious about the rights of permanent residents in Hawaii, below is a list of some basic freedoms you can enjoy the moment you become a legal resident of the Aloha State.
Rights of permanent residents in Hawaii
If you’ve just become a resident of the state of Hawaii, one of the most important things you should now is that permanent residents are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law states that you have the right to be free from discrimination based on race, origin or ethnicity.
Furthermore, as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you have the right to:
- Live permanently in the United States, as long as you respect the laws and regulations of the State you choose to live in;
- Work in the United States at any job that is a good fit for your qualifications. Although some jobs are limited only to American citizens, you may apply for any other job of your choosing and work legally, for as long as you maintain your permanent residency status;
- Driving in the Unites States is also one of the rights of permanent residents in Hawaii. As a resident, you may apply for a driver’s license in Hawaii and of course, own a vehicle;
- As a resident of Hawaii, you can buy property. Often times, immigrants may not be aware of the fact that U.S. citizenship is not a requirement to buy a home;
- Permanent residents may apply for a Visa for their immediate relatives. If you would like to reunite with your spouse or unmarried children, you can petition for them to come live with you in the U.S.;
- As residents, children can attend public schools and colleges. If you came to Hawaii looking to build a bright future for your family, becoming a permanent resident of the Aloha State is the first step towards investing in your children’s education;
- One of the rights of permanent residents in Hawaii is the right to vote in local elections where America citizenship is not required;
- Permanent residents may travel outside the country, as long as they return to the U.S. under certain conditions. Short trips will not affect your status as a permanent resident. However, traveling abroad for a period of 6 months or more may affect your continuous residency status required for naturalization. Furthermore, traveling outside the country for more than 1 year may raise suspicions among USCIS officials. Therefore, if your travel plans exceed 12 months, you should apply for a re-entry permit on Form I-131 prior to leaving the U.S.
- Becoming a citizen of the United States is one of the most important rights of permanent residents in Hawaii. Once you are eligible, you may apply for naturalization and soon, become a legal citizen of the United States of America!
To learn more about the rights of permanent residents in Hawaii, contact Maui Immigration Law, LLC today! We go above and beyond for our clients and are always happy to determine viable solutions to help you achieve your immigration goals.