It’s important to consult a legal professional. While there are many other benefits it must be noted that seeking U.S. citizenship may be harmful when U.S. naturalization would constitute an expatriating act under the laws of the country of current nationality or highlight a ground of removal.
Some of the benefits to citizens not enjoyed by permanent residents include:
- The ability to petition for certain relatives;
- The ability to bestow U.S. citizenship on a child born abroad;
- The ability to reside permanently in the U.S., or even indefinitely outside the U.S., without losing status;
- Protection from loss of status resulting from certain bad acts or other grounds of inadmissibility or deportability from the U.S;
- Certain political rights, including the right to vote, to hold political office, and to serve on juries; and
- Certain tax exemptions.
While there are many individualized details some of the basic requirements include the following:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years (three if married to a U.S. Citizen) immediately preceding the application
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
- Be able to read, write, and speak English and have the knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government
- One may be exempt from the English portion if at least 50 and has been a permanent resident for 20 years or 55 and been a permanent resident for 15 years.
- If 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for 20 years one receives special consideration for the civics requirement.
- Be a person of good moral character
- One may file 90 days prior to eligibility
- After the complete application is filed, one must attend a biometrics/fingerprinting appointment
- Attend the Interview at the USCIS office
- Even with an approved application one does not become a United States citizen until the Oath Ceremony is performed.
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Navigating through the complex landscape of U.S. immigration law can be daunting without experienced guidance. Our dedicated team of experienced immigration attorneys is committed to providing you with personalized legal assistance, ensuring a smoother passage through each stage of the immigration process.