Permanent Resident Status Law and Legal Definition

Permanent resident status refers to a sanction that allows an individual to live permanently in the U.S. with the right of employment and the ability to travel in and out of the U.S.

A person having permanent resident status has similar rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen such as employment, due process, and in some jurisdictions, permission to vote and hold public office. However, persons having permanent resident status cannot vote in federal elections or hold federal elective office.

Immigrant visas are primarily available in four basic categories:

a. employment based immigration;

b. family based immigration;

c. asylum; and

d. special laws for citizens of certain countries.