NEW YORK: While most Green Card holders and visa holders, like those on H-1B, L-1, J or F-1, H4 visa, and even those having an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) know it’s imperative to carry that piece of document and related papers when traveling in and out of the country, many may not know that it’s also legally necessary to carry that piece of evidence at all times within the United States, or face the risk of being fined or imprisoned, or even both.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services rule says in this respect: ‘Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d). Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.’
Another sub-section of the rule says: ‘Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Attorney General is authorized to require any alien to provide the alien’s social security account number for purposes of inclusion in any record of the alien maintained by the Attorney General or the Service.’
With a large-scale immigration crackdown on undocumented foreigners imminent after President Donald Trump’s new executive orders, it’s important for all documented residents in the US to keep proof of their legal status in the country.
And for those in the pipeline for a Green Card, a misdemeanor charge could have terrible repercussions when it comes to being adjudicated for legal permanent resident status. The same applies for Green Card holders who wish to become US citizen.