A lawful permanent resident (LPR) can live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis and given a “green card” as proof of that status. Lawful permanent residents can leave and re-enter the U.S. but can lose status if they are outside of the U.S. for too long. Most lawful permanent residents are eligible the apply for naturalization (U.S. citizenship) after 3 or 5 years, depending on how LPR status was acquired.
There are a variety of paths to getting a green card, with the most common being through an immigrant relative petition filed by a close family member. Not everyone with a family member qualifies, however, which is why it is important to consult with an immigration professional before applying.