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  • Leila Moulana

The top ten advantages to being a U.S. Citizen as compared to being a Lawful Permanent Resident

There are many benefits to becoming a naturalized U. S. citizen!!

Congratulations on obtaining your lawful permanent residence!! It has been a long, complicated and costly journey and now you can relax for a few years....until you are eligible for applying for Naturalization!! Taking the next step and becoming a U. S. citizen is the final step in your immigration journey. Please do not skip this step!! Below I will discuss the top 10 benefits to becoming a U. S. citizen versus staying a lawful permanent resident. As you will see, although it is a big accomplishment to have obtained your lawful permanent residence, and you are certainly in a much better situation than you were previously, becoming a U. S. citizen provides you with many more benefits and advantages than remaining a lawful permanent resident. Here we go:

1. No need to renew your green card. Your lawful “permanent” resident card is not so “permanent”!! Your green card is only valid for ten years and needs to be renewed. Each time you renew, you have the burden of proving you are still eligible and nothing new has occurred in your life to make you inadmissible. You need to pay the filing fee, be fingerprinted again and wait while your application is processed. As a United States citizen, you will not need to renew anything proving your status!! Furthermore, you will no longer be required to carry your green card as proof of status with you on an everyday basis.

2. No need to worry about a lost or stolen green card. As a lawful permanent resident, you are required to carry your card on your person at all times. You cannot travel without it either. If your card is lost, stolen or otherwise mutilated, you need to apply for a replacement card. Once again paying the fee, being fingerprinted and putting your life on hold while your new card arrives. Only a truly urgent matter will qualify for an interim stamp to be placed in your passport for travel out of the country. As a U. S. citizen, there is no need to carry your passport with you at all times as proof of your status and you no longer need to be burdened by the long processing times of the USCIS.

3. Reduced risk of removal (deportation). Green card holders can be removed (deported) from the United States for committing certain crimes or doing other acts that are considered to be grounds for removal under U.S. immigration laws. A U.S. citizen cannot be deported!! The only exception is if the USCIS discovers that you committed fraud in order to obtain either lawful permanent residence or your U.S. citizenship.

4. Easier travel and reentry into the United States. You will be traveling with one of the world’s strongest passports!! No longer will you need to stand in the long lines of green card holders awaiting entry at U.S. airports or other points of entry. U.S. citizens enter on separate lines and are subject to much less scrutiny. In addition, as a U.S. citizen, you can enjoy visa free travel into many countries around the world.

5. No loss of status after long trips outside the United States. As a lawful permanent resident you are restricted as to the length of time you can travel out of the country. Absences of 180 days or longer can be considered as you abandoning your lawful permanent resident status. If you need to pursue a career in another country, study abroad, or see the world, you need to obtain a special permission prior to your departure. Your life is very much under scrutiny and you need to plan everything much ahead of time. As a U.S. citizen, there is no such risk. You will never lose your right to return to the U. S.

6. Ability to petition for more family members to immigrate to the U. S. U.S. citizens are eligible to petition many more categories of family members into the United States than green card holders. Only U.S. citizens may petition parents, siblings and married children. Furthermore, in the cases where both U.S. citizens and green card holders can file a petition (for example for spouses), the wait time tends to significantly shorter for U.S. citizens' petitions.

7. Ability to pass U.S. citizenship to minor children who have green cards. At the time of your naturalization, any children you may have under the age of 18 who reside with you (you must have legal and physical custody of them) and are also in lawful permanent resident status, will automatically become U. S. citizens.

8. Ability to run for public office. Naturalized U.S. citizens can run for most (but not all) elected public offices. If you wish a life in politics, you can only pursue it as a U. S. citizen.

9. Ability to vote. One of the highest advantages of become a U. S. citizen is your ability to vote!! If you vote or register to vote as a lawful permanent resident, your application for naturalization will be denied. If you hold yourself to be a U. S. citizen when you are not, you can be deported and permanently bared from the U. S.

10. Ability to obtain federal benefits only available to citizens. Upon naturalizing, you will gain full access to certain government benefits such as federal college assistance available only to U. S. Citizens.

So you see, becoming a U. S. citizen solidifies your life in the United States. It opens doors to so much more for you and your children. Furthermore, it removed any of the risks you are currently facing as a lawful permanent resident.

Call me today to see if you are eligible for naturalization!! (714) 743-2175!

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