Unveiling the Distinction: Is a U.S. Permanent Resident Truly a Foreign National?

Yes, a U.S. permanent resident is considered a foreign national as they are a citizen of a different country who has been granted permission to live and work in the United States indefinitely, but they are not a U.S. citizen.

So let us examine the request more closely

Yes, a U.S. permanent resident is considered a foreign national. A foreign national is an individual who is not a citizen or national of the country they are residing in. In the case of the United States, a foreign national refers to someone who is not a U.S. citizen.

A U.S. permanent resident, also known as a green card holder, is an individual who has obtained legal permanent residency in the United States. They are citizens of a different country but have been granted permission to live and work in the United States indefinitely. However, they do not possess all the rights and privileges of a U.S. citizen, such as the right to vote in federal elections or the ability to serve in certain government positions.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a green card holder is defined as someone who “can live and work permanently in the United States, and has some of the rights and responsibilities of a U.S. citizen.” They have the freedom to reside in any part of the country and can apply for U.S. citizenship after fulfilling certain criteria.


“While permanent residents are allowed to remain in the United States indefinitely, they do not possess all the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens…” – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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Interesting facts about U.S. permanent residents:

  1. As of 2019, there were approximately 13.6 million lawful permanent residents in the United States, comprising about 4% of the country’s population.

  2. The term “green card” comes from the original color of the identification card that was issued to permanent residents in the early 20th century.

  3. U.S. permanent residents are eligible for various forms of public assistance, such as healthcare benefits, educational opportunities, and social security benefits, but certain programs may have eligibility restrictions.

  4. Green card holders can bring their immediate family members, including spouses and unmarried children under 21, to the United States under the family-based immigration system.

  5. U.S. permanent residents must maintain continuous residence in the country to retain their status, and prolonged absences or criminal convictions can jeopardize their permanent residency.

Here is a simple table demonstrating the differences between U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens:

U.S. Permanent Resident U.S. Citizen
Right to Vote Not eligible to vote in federal elections Can vote in federal elections
Citizenship Citizen of a different country, with a green card Citizen of the United States
Travel Can travel outside the U.S. with a valid green card Can travel with a U.S. passport
Government Jobs Some government positions may be restricted Eligible for most government jobs
Deportation Can be subject to removal if residency requirements are not met Cannot be deported (except in extreme cases)

In conclusion, a U.S. permanent resident is indeed considered a foreign national in the United States. Although they have certain rights and privileges, they are not U.S. citizens and are subject to certain limitations.

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Other options for answering your question

Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are foreign nationals who have been granted the right to reside permanently in the United States. LPRs are often referred to simply as "immigrants," but they are also known as "permanent resident aliens" and "green card holders."

Watch a video on the subject

The video addresses the challenges faced by non-US residents and foreign nationals when trying to purchase life insurance in the United States. It explains that these individuals are categorized as non-US residents if they live outside the US for over three months a year or lack a full-time permanent US residency. Although it may be more difficult for them to qualify, there are alternative requirements they can fulfill, such as being present in the US during the entire life insurance process. However, there are some countries where insurance companies might not offer coverage, and applicants would still need to complete an application and pass a paramedical exam. To assist non-US residents and foreign nationals in navigating this process and finding suitable coverage, the video suggests reaching out to Term Life To Go.

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