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Lawful Permanent Resident v. U.S. Citizen

 Posted on April 12, 2024 in Immigration

IL immigration lawyerLawful permanent residency and U.S. citizenship are both legal statuses that allow you to remain in the United States indefinitely. However, citizens and permanent residents have different rights and privileges. It is easier to become a lawful permanent resident than to become a citizen but to retain your status as a permanent resident, you must be cautious about how often and for how long you leave the country. A citizen, however, may travel or live anywhere in the world without risking his or her citizenship status. Citizenship, once granted, is permanent. If you are unsure which status to pursue, a Bloomingdale, IL immigration attorney can help you determine whether becoming a lawful permanent resident or a citizen would likely be better for you.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident

Some of the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a permanent U.S. resident include:

  • You could lose this status - Permanent residency status can be revoked if you commit a crime or leave the U.S. for too long. You could still be deported under certain circumstances. 
  • You can remain in the U.S. indefinitely - Once you are a permanent legal resident, you can live and work in the U.S. as long as you please, unless grounds for deportation arise. 
  • You cannot vote - You will not be able to vote in federal and most state elections, and you cannot run for most political offices.  
  • Limits on who you can help immigrate - Permanent residents can only help their spouses or unmarried children try to move to the U.S. 

Pros and Cons of U.S. Citizenship 

Benefits and drawbacks of pursuing citizenship status include:

  • Cost and difficulty - Becoming a citizen can be a costly and time-consuming process. You will need to complete steps like passing a citizenship exam and completing an interview. 
  • You can leave and come back - U.S. citizens can travel anywhere and stay for as long as they want without worrying about losing their status. 
  • Permanent status - Once you are a citizen, your status is permanent. Citizenship cannot be revoked even if you commit a crime or live outside the country for an extended period of time. 
  • Voting rights - U.S. citizens are able to vote in federal and state elections, so you will have a say in national politics. You may also be able to run for some political offices. 
  • Helping others immigrate- As a citizen, you can help more members of your family try to immigrate. 

Contact a Bloomingdale, IL Immigration Attorney

Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices has been helping immigrants in Northern Illinois for more than 40 years. Our dedicated DuPage County, IL immigration lawyers will work with you and your family to help you find the best way to make a new home in the United States. Contact us at 630-932-9100 for a complimentary consultation.

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