The road to citizenship is a years-long process, but your rights as a resident are important to know as well. They encompass a lot of the privileges enjoyed by citizens and offer needed protections from discrimination. 

As FindLaw remarks in their list, permanent residency is an interesting state of immigration. They warn that overstepping those rights can jeopardize your citizenship. 

The road to citizenship 

Any immigrant seeking citizenship or naturalization needs to be a permanent resident for at least thirty months of the last five years—with no stint out of the country longer than six months (without the proper paperwork). 

Rights of ownership 

Once you have your I-551 (the green card), you are able to own property and can apply for documents and benefits like a driver’s license, a social security card, and Medicare benefits. You may also purchase a firearm. 

Organizations and voting (yes, really!) 

As a permanent resident, you may join certain branches of the military, attend public schools and colleges, and can even participate in elections that do not require citizenship. 

Protections from discrimination 

All permanent residents enjoy the protections of the Civil Rights Act from 1964, which provides the “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings” regardless of your national origin, race or ethnicity. Your path to citizenship already has its hurdles—discrimination of any kind should not burden you further. 

When it comes to becoming a citizen, no amount of learning or patience is too much. Knowing your protections and privileges under the law may make your residency easier, and you deserve justice if anything infringes upon those rights.