Voting, Sponsorship and a US Passport – Reasons for Becoming a US Citizen
We have helped so many individuals and their families immigrate to the United States with Permanent Resident Status (Green Card), which allows individuals to live permanently in the United States.
While becoming a permanent resident is quite an accomplishment itself, it is important to consider the next step – acquiring US citizenship through the naturalization process.
What is Naturalization?
For those individuals who are not born in the United States, naturalization is the process that allows them to become a US citizen. Naturalization is a process that falls very much in line with the culture of the United States, a nation of immigrants, strengthening our nation through individuals who are seeking a better way of life.
Upon naturalization, individuals are not only considered US citizens, but they agree to support the United States, its Constitution and its laws – essentially you are showing a permanent commitment to the United States. It is important to note that foreign nationals seeking US citizenship are not required by the US government to give up the citizenship of their home country – indeed, many of our clients are citizens of multiple countries.
Who Qualifies for Naturalization?
The first step in the naturalization process is determining whether you qualify. You must be a permanent resident holder in order to undergo this process, but that alone will not qualify you for citizenship.
Most green card holders in the United States must maintain their green card status for a minimum of five years before starting the naturalization process. In addition to being a green card holder for five years, individuals must have spent a minimum amount of time in the United States – this is called the physical presence requirement. US Immigration requires that green card holders spend at least 2.5 years out of the previous 5 years physically present in the United States.
While this is not an issue for most of our clients who do settle in the United States, it is an important consideration for the naturalization process.
A similar, though very different consideration, is called continuous residence, which simply means that green card holders must not have left the US for more than 6 months at a time in the previous five years.
Both the continuous residence and physical presence requirements can be complex, but we can help you determine if you qualify for US citizenship.
Those individuals who received green cards through marriage to a US citizen qualify for naturalization after only three years of permanent residence. The physical presence requirement is 18 months of the previous three years, and the continuous residence requirement as well.
What Are the Benefits and Responsibilities of Naturalization?
The United States is a mecca for individuals seeking the freedoms and possibilities that are unique to this country, however, the US Constitution does offer a number of benefits that are reserved only for its citizens, and include the following:
- Voting in federal elections and state elections
- Sponsoring family members for US green cards
- Obtaining citizenship for children born abroad
- Traveling with a US passport
- Eligibility for federal jobs
- Eligibility to run for elected offices
- No longer deportable
In addition the benefits, it is important to note that there are responsibilities that come with US citizenship. In addition to pledging allegiance the United States, some of the responsibilities that you can expect are:
- Serving the country when required
- Support and defend the US Constitution
- Service as jury member in a court of law
- Participation in the political process
If you are ready to seek your US citizenship, give us a call today and we can discuss the details and outline a timeline for submitting your naturalization application.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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