Sunday, November 6, 2011

Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders) and The Right To Vote

A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a "Green Card." You can become a permanent resident several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents through refugee or asylee status or other humanitarian programs. In some cases, you may be eligible to file for yourself.  Source:

If you are a permanent resident age 18 or older, you are required to have a valid green card in your possession at all times. Current green cards are valid for 10 years, or 2 years in the case of a conditional resident, and must be renewed before the card expires.

Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
and The Right To Vote

One of the most important privileges of democracy in the United States of America is the right to participate in choosing elected officials through voting in elections. There are many different types of elections in the United States, such as federal elections, state elections or local elections. Only U.S. citizens can vote in federal elections. Registering to vote or voting in a federal election is a crime if you are not a U.S. citizen.Non-U.S. citizens, including permanent residents (green card holders), who vote, or register to vote, in a federal election also can be denied naturalization and/or removed (deported) from the United States.

There are very few jurisdictions where a non-U.S. citizen may vote in a local election. You can obtain information regarding voting qualifications in local elections from your local voting authority. It is important to remember that even if you are allowed to vote in a local election, you are not eligible to vote in a federal election if you are not a U.S. citizen, nor in any other election that requires you to be a U.S. citizen.

For more information, or to make an appointment with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer, contact the immigration law offices of Millar & Smith, PLLC at


Blog about U.S. Immigration Law, Enforcement, Policy, and the U.S. Border written by lawyers from the multi-national immigration law firm Millar & Smith.  Our U.S. Immigration Attorneys serve clients from offices in Seattle, New York, Burnaby, Vancouver, Bellingham and Blaine.  

Preparation and filing of forms and official documents is complex. The experienced U.S. immigration lawyers at the immigration law firm of Millar & Smith, PLLC can answer questions and provide expert advice and recommend strategies and provide full service representation.  Services include all investor case E-1, E-2, EB-5, L-1A, L-1B, H-1, O-1, P-1, P-2, J-1, K-1, K-3, I-130, I-129F, Naturalization, Citizenship, U.S. Passports, Waiver cases, Criminal Issues, Deportation, Removal Proceedings, and all types of Green Cards.

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