In general, this term refers to aliens living in the United States and is used synonymously with legal permanent residency
. Any present alien in the United States who is not in a specified class of nonimmigrant aliens, like a student or temporary visitor, is considered to be a legal alien under this definition.
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR):
An immigrant given permission to live in the United States based on job qualifications or family ties is known as an LPR. Once arriving in the country, lawful permanent residents may apply for immigrant visas through the Department of State overseas or change their status to LPR with the INS. Lawful permanent residents typically have "green cards" and are eligible to apply for citizenship after five years of residing in the United States.