Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Citizenship

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4

– US Citizenship Part 1 – Introduction
– US Citizenship Part 2 – Gaps / Time Away From  USA


There are many families that settled in the US many years ago, working their way up to getting a green card but never went on to become US citizens.  Becoming a US citizen is actually quite important for a variety of reasons, nevertheless many people put this off not thinking of the risks they are taking.  A green card can be lost if an alien commits a serious crime and he can then be deported. It's been my experience from prospective clients approaching me that out of a very innocent situation disaster can strike causing ruin to a family.  Let me give you a recent real situation that came my way.

Bill had been living in the US on a green card for ten years, and had an American wife Samantha and two children, both American citizens. One day after a celebration dinner Bill was driving home and was involved in a serious road accident. Because Bill was over the alcohol limit and caused serious injury to an innocent party, Bill was convicted and sentenced to time in prison. Upon his release he was placed in deportation proceedings. Now if Bill is unsuccessful in getting the deportation order removed then his life as he knew it in the US would come to an abrupt end. Bill's American wife and children would now have to move back to his home country and they'd literally have to re-build their life from the ground up. Had Bill been a US citizen, then he would have done his time but his life in the US would be 100% protected. Applying for US citizenship is not that difficult and we'll make sure that your case is prepared fully and processed as quickly as possible.

Ok, let's take the story of Mark as another example: Mark had been living in the US for more than 20 years as a green card holder. He was brought here by his parents when he was just 12 years old. In fact, he can barely remember any life he had in his home country. One day Mark was late for a very important meeting and was rushing to beat the traffic lights, but just caught the red light. As Mark turned the corner he hit a mother pushing her baby across the street and killed the baby girl. Mark ran the red light by just a fraction of a second, but unfortunately it was the wrong side of the light and he was duly convicted for manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison. Again, as soon as his sentence was served he was placed into removal proceedings and deported.

I could go on with story after story where aliens were just living their life, made a serious out-of-character error of judgment that completely ended their opportunity to reside in the US, let alone a chance at US citizenship.  In any country, road accidents happen – it's the risk we all take everytime we get into a car.  How many of us have driven too fast, or made a driving error or ran a red light by a fraction of a second?  Some of us may even have been involved in a road accident where injuries have taken place.  When you're here in the US on a green card there are all kinds of situations that can happen that could land you on the wrong side of the law. Whereas normally we'd never dream of committing any kind of offense; yet here you are.

My advice is quite simple. If you have held your green card for more than five years that is to say, that since you have had your green card you've spent at least two and a half years physically in the US (2 years if your green card was acquired by marriage to a US citizen), then you should really think about going for your US citizenship.  In doing so you are 100% protecting your family from a devastating situation called deportation.

I'm probably right in saying that very few of our readers have ever had their home burn down, but would we think of not insuring our home? We would not reasonably say 'what are the odds of it happening to me? I'm very careful at home!' We just know that we need to insure our homes because it's the right thing to do.  Applying for US citzenship when you're eligible is just like that – it's the right thing to do.

Many people think that if they apply for US citizenship it would mean they'd have to give up their own citizenship, the truth is for nearly every country in the world dual US citizenship is possible. There are a few countries out there where this isn't the case, but if you're reading this article then you're probably not from one of those countries.

If this article has stirred you in any way please get in touch and let us take care of this issue for you. You'll be glad you did. Contact me today and let's get it taken care of.   Green Card to Citizenship.

US Immigration Attorney Chris M Ingram
US Immigration Law Specialist
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Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
 Immigration Attorney
Chris M. Ingram., LL.M., ESQ
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
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.


General Location:  Santa Monica , Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Serving all 50 States
Copyright 2010

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.