Many individuals reside in the United States on a permanent basis as lawful permanent residents. While this is completely lawful, a permanent resident should seriously consider the advantages of becoming a United States citizen. The process to become a U.S. citizen is known as naturalization. Once an individual is completely informed, a good decision can be made about whether naturalization makes sense. This week's blog post will outline some of the advantages of U.S. citizenship.
A common myth among the immigrant community is that permanent residency is "permanent". While this appears on its face to make logical sense, permanent residency is not necessarily permanent. Commission of certain types of crimes can result in removal of even a lawful permanent resident. By becoming a U.S. citizen, an individual forever avoids the possibility of deportation from the United States. Even when a person is committed to never committing crimes, it is always possible to be convicted of a crime for which the individual is completely innocent.
Generally, a permanent resident who resides continually outside the United States in excess of six months can be held to have abandoned his/her permanent resident status. To avoid this possibility, or the necessity of making frequent trips back to the U.S. and prove that the permanent residency has not been abandoned, an individual can become a U.S. citizen. Once a U.S. citizen, the person can reside anywhere in the world, and return to the United States at any time without any immigration issues.
RIGHT TO VOTE AND HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE
Only a United States citizen has the right to vote in elections and to hold public office. While most people never aspire to hold public office, the right to vote is significant. An individual can shape and influence public policy and the direction of our republic in many important ways, if the individual has the right (and chooses to exercise the right) to vote.
Typically, employment opportunities with the federal government are available only to U.S. citizens. Becoming a U.S. citizen ensures eligibility for such employment should the need or desire arise.
ASSISTING RELATIVES IN IMMIGRATING TO THE UNITED STATES
Naturalized U.S. citizens can sponsor immediate relatives to become immigrants, without the necessity of a lengthy wait for a visa to become available. Also, the range of relatives for whom an individual may petition for immigration is more broad than the range available to permanent residents. Specifically, a U.S. citizen may petition for a sibling, while a permanent resident cannot.
Christiansen Law Firm assists permanent residents attain the dream of U.S. citizenship. The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have years of experience in immigration law, including naturalization. Christiansen Law Firm offers a wide range of exceptional legal services for all areas of family-based immigration. Contact the offices of Christiansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio for additional information.