Newark, NJ- Immigrants in Newark, an througout the U.S, who want to live and work in the U.S. on a long-term basis, may do so as lawful permanent residents or as naturalized citizens. First they can apply for legal permanent residency (green card), then, if eligible and they so choose, an immigrant can seek U.S. citizenship. Some permanent residents struggle with the decision of whether to become a citizen or not. That is why it’s important immigrants understand the differences between lawful permanent residence and a U.S. citizenship, so they can make an informed decision.
An immigrant who has lawful permanent resident status is allowed to work and live in the U.S. without fearing deportation as long they do not violate the terms of residence and avoid certain criminal convictions. Green card holders also have rights not enjoyed by individuals with non-immigrant status. Those benefits include work authorization, the ability to travel internationally, and the freedom to live in the U.S. indefinitely. On the downside, legal permanent residents must wait at least five years before applying for certain public benefits and have restrictions on overseas travel, voting and certain employment.
Another benefit of being a lawful permanent resident is that the status allows an immigrant to sponsor a family member, a spouse or a child, for an immigrant visa or green card. But green card holders who hope to sponsor a family member for immigration should be aware that only a limited number of family visas are issued each year, so a family member can be on a visa waiting list for a long time. Green card holders also cannot sponsor parents or siblings.
Even though green card holders don’t usually have to worry about being deported, it is possible for to face an Order of Removal if convicted of certain criminal offenses or to be denied reentry to the U.S. after overseas travel that lasted too long.
For some, being a green card holder is fine and suits their needs, but there are many new rights provided after becoming U.S. citizens. That is why so many immigrants in New Jersey want to go through the process of applying for U.S. citizenship.
If an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, they have the same rights as a native-born U.S. citizen, including the right to vote, run for public office, sit on a jury and accept all forms of employment. As an American citizen, an immigrant has the freedom to live wherever they want without having to keep up with visa or green card renewals or check in with immigration authorities. An immigrant who becomes a naturalized citizen can travel abroad for extended periods and does not have to be worry about being denied entry or being deported. A naturalized citizen also does not have to fear deportation even after criminal convictions.
Whether you want to apply to apply for citizenship, renew your green card, you have a lot of work ahead of you. You must complete various forms and the provide an array of documentation. There are many requirements and deadlines that you need to meet if you hope to achieve your desired immigration status. No matter what immigration status you are striving for, I can help you reach your goals. Call my Newark office at 973-453-2009 and we can arrange a time for your free 15-minute case evaluation.