Clients often ask us why it is so important that they naturalize. Many believe that permanent residence is something that is permanent, that cannot be taken away from them. Some have mixed feelings about becoming a citizen of a country that is not where they were born or grew up. A few folks worry that by pledging allegiance to the United States, they will no longer be a citizen of their native country.
In order to become a U.S. Citizen, you must have been a permanent resident (or held a “green card”) for 5 years. There are some exceptions to that time frame for those married to U.S. Citizens or who are in the U.S. military.
There are many benefits to becoming a U.S. Citizen. First and foremost, it actually is permanent. It is extremely rare and unlikely for your U.S. Citizenship to ever be revoked. On the other hand, there are many reasons that the Government can take away your permanent residence. For example, permanent residents can abandon their residence if they stay outside of the U.S. for too long. They can also lose their residence if they are convicted of most criminal offenses, and it’s possible that Congress may come up with other ways to lose permanent residence in the future. By becoming a U.S. Citizen, your future in the U.S. is no longer at the whim of Congress and the President.
U.S. Citizens can petition for more family members than permanent residents can, including siblings and parents, and in most cases, visa waiting lists are shorter. They can also travel abroad without any worry about being allowed back into the U.S., even if they spend a long time away. U.S. Citizens also have the ability to be more involved in our government. They can serve on a jury, vote in elections, and run for any political office.
And about fear that of losing citizenship in your home country: for many countries, this simply does not happen. The U.S. accepts dual citizenship, so you just have to check to see if your home country also allows it.
If you would like to know more about becoming a U.S. Citizen, we would be happy to assist. Please call us for an appointment!
Disclaimer: All materials on this website are presented for general information purposes. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, may not be current and is subject to change without notice. By providing this information, we have not formed an attorney-client relationship with anyone who may be reading it.