Status as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) conveys many privileges on immigrants to the United States, including the right to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Some people in Naperville wonder whether it is worthwhile to take the next step and seek naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.
It is advisable to consider the benefits of Naperville permanent resident status vs. naturalization in order to make the decision of whether to apply for citizenship. An immigration attorney could help with the process of weighing the benefits and evaluating the steps needed for naturalization.
LPRs may petition to obtain permanent visas to bring a spouse or unmarried children to the U.S. However, citizens may seek permanent visas for many more family members, including parents and siblings. Moreover, petitions from U.S. citizens are ranked higher in priority and not subject to quotas for immediate family members. Thus, it is much easier for citizens to help family members immigrate to the U.S. than for LPRs.
In addition, when comparing Naperville permanent resident status vs. naturalization, citizenship also makes it easier for other family members to obtain citizenship. For instance, children born abroad to U.S. citizens automatically become U.S. citizens themselves.
Naturalization provides many international travel benefits. First, citizens travel with U.S. passports, which simplify procedures in airports and enables a citizen to seek assistance from the U.S. government while traveling if necessary. Re-entry into the U.S. is also easier with a U.S. passport than with a green card.
Furthermore, Naperville naturalization vs. permanent resident status allows for greater freedom and flexibility in international travel. While LPRs risk losing their status if they stay out of the country for too long, citizens may remain abroad with no such concerns.
Even if an LPR has been in the U.S. for many years, the government could still deport that individual if it believes there has been a violation of the terms of the visa. By contrast, U.S. citizens are not subject to removal, unless it is proven that they obtained citizenship by fraudulent means.
A consideration of Naperville permanent resident status vs. naturalization should also include requirements and renewals. LPRs must remember to renew their green cards or risk losing their status. A naturalized citizen in Naperville, however, does not need to worry about losing status, even if a passport or driver’s license expires.
Obtaining citizenship through naturalization forges a strong connection between the new citizen and the U.S. government. A naturalized citizen may vote in federal elections and run for office to take a greater role in determining his or her own future.
Naperville permanent resident status vs. naturalization also affects job prospects. Naturalized citizens become eligible for many federal jobs not open to LPRs. Moreover, obtaining citizenship demonstrates a commitment to an individual’s new country of residence.
The naturalization process could seem confusing and intimidating. However, with proper preparation, a qualified lawful permanent resident should be able to work toward citizenship with confidence.
An experienced immigration lawyer could provide more detail about Naperville permanent resident status vs. naturalization and assist with the naturalization process. Interested Naperville residents may also contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS field office closest to Naperville is located in Chicago.