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Benefits of Becoming a Naturalized Citizen of the United States

Posted on in Immigration

Darien, CT naturalization attorneyIf you immigrated to the United States in the past year or two, you may not have given any thought to the naturalization process yet. You may not even be sure if you want to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. 

You have some time to decide. Under current laws, you must be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S. (that is, a green card holder) for five years before you can apply for citizenship through naturalization, or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen. 

Still, you should understand the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen. Once you understand these benefits, you may want to pursue naturalization sooner rather than later.

Be Protected from Deportation

A green card holder can be deported if they are convicted of certain types of crimes. A naturalized citizen cannot be deported for a crime committed after becoming a citizen.

Avoid Green Card Renewal and Fees Every 10 Years

Permanent residents must pay a $540 fee to renew their green card status every 10 years. They must also pay $540 to replace a lost card. In comparison, there is a one-time application fee of $725 for naturalization. 

Sponsor Immigration for More Family Members, More Quickly

Citizens can sponsor immediate relatives (spouses, unmarried children under age 21, and parents) for IR Visas, for which there are no annual quota limits. They can also sponsor immigration for their siblings (including siblings’ spouses and children) and their 21-and-over or married children (including children’s spouses and children) for family preference (F) visas, for which there are annual quotas. Green card holders, on the other hand, can only sponsor the immigration of their spouses and unmarried children for F visas.  

Travel Abroad More Easily

LPRs must travel on a passport from their country of origin; they are not eligible to obtain a U.S. passport. U.S. citizens, on the other hand, have all the advantages of a U.S. passport, including the ability to travel to 174 of the globe’s 218 countries without needing a visa.  

A child born to a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. will be a U.S. citizen at birth as long as the citizen parent or parents apply at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for the necessary documentation. In contrast, a child born to a green card holder outside the U.S. does not have this automatic right to citizenship.

In addition, lawful permanent residents who leave the U.S. for longer than six months put their LPR status and path to naturalization at risk. Special forms must be filed to ensure that the person will be able to re-enter the U.S.

Consult a Stamford Family Immigration Attorney

If you want to become a U.S. citizen as quickly as possible, consult an experienced Fairfield County immigration lawyer. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC has over 15 years of experience assisting with family-based immigration and helping immigrants gaining citizenship through naturalization. Contact us at 203-323-1440.

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/naturalized-citizens-deported-crimes-article-1.2643570#

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/international-travel-permanent-resident

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/customs-immigration/where-us-citizens-can-travel-without-visas

https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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