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Lawful permanent residents of the United States are entitled to reside and work permanently in the U.S.  Once a lawful permanent resident becomes eligible to apply for naturalization, a decision must be made whether to apply for naturalization.  Past blog posts have addressed the eligibility requirements.  Today's blog post will discuss the major benefits of naturalization to the individual and his or her family.


Even a lawful permanent resident may be ordered removed due to the commission of certain types of crimes.  Naturalization eliminates (with a few rare exceptions) the possibility of removal.


If a lawful permanent resident remains outside the U.S. for a continuous period of more than 6 months without obtaining advance parole, he or she may be found to have abandoned permanent resident status and could be denied re-entry.  If this happens, a whole new immigrant visa petition must be filed, and if the individual is ineligible for a new immigrant visa, will not be able to become a permanent resident.  A United States citizen may live outside the United States and always have the right to return to the United States.


Only United States citizens are legally permitted to vote in federal elections and most state elections.


United States citizens may apply for immigration benefits for a wider range of family members (such as siblings) and often on a much faster track than lawful permanent residents.


A United States citizen is eligible to obtain a U.S. passport,  Traveling outside the United States is greatly simplified with a U.S. passport.  For example, if problems arise overseas, the U.S. passport allows the citizen to obtain the assistance of the U.S. consulate or embassy.  Returning to the United States with a U.S. passport is much simpler, as the arriving citizen can avoid long waits at the airport while immigration status is checked.

If you're unsure whether you are eligible for naturalization, or need assistance in deciding whether to naturalize, you should seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced immigration attorney.  The attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm have significant experience helping foreign nationals obtain permanent resident status and U.S. citizenship.  Contact Christansen Law Firm in Houston or San Antonio to arrange a free consultation to discuss your situation in detail.


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