Both Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status and naturalization give someone who was not born in the United States the right to live and work here legally. Beyond those basic similarities, though, there are a lot of differences between these two federal immigration options, both in terms of their qualifying conditions and the privileges associated with them.
Thankfully, a knowledgeable citizenship attorney has experience handling both of these classifications and could help you understand permanent resident status versus naturalization in Lombard. A legal team member could answer questions about both procedures, support you during the application process, and work to protect your rights as an immigrant.
Achieving legal permanent resident status, also known as getting a green card, gives a foreign national the right to hold valid employment and live in the U.S. on a long-term basis. However, it is important to recognize that permanent residence under current U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) policy is conditional. Therefore, a person with LPR status who violates federal law or makes themselves inadmissible to the country could be subject to deportation. Similarly, a permanent resident who “abandons” his or her U.S. residence by leaving the country for a long period of time may end up losing his or her legal protections.
Meanwhile, a naturalized citizen cannot be deported from the U.S. for any reason other than fraud directly related to his or her naturalization. These Americans also enjoy various other privileges like the right to vote, run for elected office, and obtain a U.S. passport. In exchange for those rights, citizens are expected to fulfill certain responsibilities, like appearing for jury duty when summoned.
Finally, while both permanent resident status and naturalization allow people to sponsor certain family members for immigration, citizens are allowed to represent a wider variety of family members. Citizens can also take advantage of the much quicker and more straightforward immediate relative process, whereas permanent residents must use the more restrictive family preference framework.
A seasoned attorney in Lombard could further outline the benefits of both permanent resident status and naturalization, to help determine which immigration option is right for you.
Another key difference between these two immigration options is the criteria that make someone eligible for either option. Generally, an individual seeking LPR status must have a family member or employer sponsor his or her application. If this is not an option, he or she must fit into one of a few special categories for immigrants fleeing persecution.
When it comes to naturalization, local permanent residents must maintain continuous and lawful U.S. residence for five years before they can apply for naturalization. They must also meet various additional criteria, including but not limited to:
A resourceful lawyer in Lombard could help you determine if you are eligible for long-term immigration, regardless of whether you seek naturalization or permanent resident status.
USCIS processes thousands of applications for both permanent resident status and naturalization every month. Unfortunately, that means that lengthy delays are common. Even one minor mistake could significantly impact your future plans.
Understanding the unique aspects of Lombard permanent resident status versus naturalization could be a key first step towards obtaining the immigration protections you need. Contact us today to learn more about your options and speak with a dedicated lawyer.