There has been a lot of discussion in the news about the US flag. This has cause people to start asking questions about citizenship and what it means. We wanted to take some time to explain the benefits of becoming a US Citizen. The entire process can be a long journey with many twists and turns but the benefits can be worth the wait. Here are some of the benefits:
- The right to vote: a US citizen who is over the age of 18 may vote in elections for public office including for the President of the US. Voting is a privilege which allows everyone to express their political views and is the backbone of the US republican form of government. We have a national election coming up in November 2018. Now is the time to begin to eligible to vote in next year’s elections. New citizens are able to vote as long as they register after becoming a citizen. It is important to wait until you are a US Citizen before registering to vote. Do not believe anyone who tells you that registering prior to becoming a citizen is ok. It is not and can risk both the opportunity to become a citizen as well as permanent resident status.
- A chance to reunite families or keep them reunited: after becoming a US Citizen a person may be able to apply for certain family members to receive a green card. For some family members this can be done in the United States. This means the wait is much less. In most cases, this can also help speed up the process to help bring family members to the US. This process is especially true with today’s politics in order to protect family members in the future.
- A way to protect your children’s right to remain in the US: children who are permanent residents and are in the physical custody of their parents automatically become US Citizens when a parent or both parents naturalize. This would prevent a child from ever being deported from the US.
- Protection in cases involving certain crimes: in the same way as mentioned about children, if a Permanent Resident is ever convicted of certain illegal activity, they can be placed in proceedings with an immigration judge and possibly removed (or deported.) US Citizens would still face the criminal consequences of illegal activity but are not under the threat of being deported. There are some crimes which may be considered minor by many states that immigration can view it as a deportable crime.
- International travel made easier: Permanent Residents can be determined to have abandoned their status if they leave the US for 180 days or longer without prior approval. A US Citizen does not have any restriction on the amount of time they can spend outside of the US and are not subject to obtaining prior approval for long stays out of the country. Additionally, travel can be more convenient as many countries do not require visas of US Citizens.
Congratulations to all of our clients who have already become US Citizens. We sincerely hope that all is going well with you. If you believe you are eligible for citizenship but have some questions about the process or concerns about anything from the past which you think may impact your ability to become a citizen such as extensive travel, crimes, taxes to mention a few, please contact our office by calling 704-522-6363 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.