Why Is a Green Card Important? | Definition, Importance, & More

Why Is a Green Card Important?

1339421 washington dc capitolThe green card, also known as the United States Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551) is a form of identification that states that an individual living in the U.S. has legal permission to work. The individual issued a green card has obtained permanent residency as an alien in the U.S., is lawfully within the United States, and has been granted this benefit through the immigration process.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issues green cards through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Individuals must carry the physical card at all times and must be over the age of 18. Violations to laws or immigration rules may result in fines, imprisonment, or deportation by the federal government. This can also seriously affect your business bottom line, and you could even lose your business license if you employ illegal workers.

You must make sure all new hires are eligible to work in the U.S. — this includes obtaining proof of a green card. Individuals with a green card are employable, but the individual must show proof of this information, and it must be documented on all paperwork, including the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for employment. It is treated similar to another form of identification from a U.S. citizen. Make sure you ask for this documentation for all new hires to avoid any legal issues.

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