Why Should I Apply for U.S. Citizenship? Green Card Vs. Citizenship
What is the difference between having a green card and having citizenship? Well, there are a number of differences that we will explore in this article, including a list of the various rights that green card holders may not have compared to citizens.
If, after reading this article, you have any questions, please feel free to call, text, or WhatsApp message us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may request a free consultation by clicking this link.
The Basic Differences Between a Green Card and Citizenship
To begin, let us discuss the main differences between a green card and citizenship. When you have a green card, you are considered a lawful permanent resident. That means that you can live anywhere in the United states, work for any lawful employer in the United states, or start your own business.
However, as a lawful permanent resident you have to apply to renew your green card about every 10 years. Also, there are certain things that, as a lawful permanent resident, can put your green card at risk. For example, getting convicted of certain crimes or spending too much time outside of the United States can jeopardize your lawful permanent resident status.
By contrast, as a U.S. citizen, you get all the same rights as a permanent resident with additional rights. For example, you get the right to vote in U.S. elections. In addition, as a U.S. citizen, your status is much more secure. As a citizen, you don't need to renew your citizenship, and there are more types of family members that you can sponsor for a green card.
Disadvantages to Lawful Permanent Residents Compared to US Citizens
Let us take a look more specifically at some of the issues that lawful permanent residents face that do no apply to US citizens:
- As a lawful permanent resident your green card status may be in jeopardy if you do not notify USCIS when you change residences;
- As a lawful permanent resident you cannot vote in U.S. elections, nor can you participate in the process by running for federal political office in the U.S.;
- As a lawful permanent resident, your green card status could be revoked if jeopardy engage in criminal activity;
- As a lawful permanent resident staying outside of the United States for extended periods can jeopardize your green card status;
- As a lawful permanent resident you generally must renew your green card every 10 years;
Given the above facts, you may determine that it makes sense to apply to naturalize to become a U.S. citizen.
This is because those restrictions listed above do not apply to U.S. citizens. As a U.S. citizen, your status as a U.S. citizen is far more secure than that of a lawful permanent resident. As a U.S. citizen, you do not have to renew your citizenship. As a U.S. citizen, you can participate in the democratic process in the U.S. by voting in U.S. elections. As a U.S. citizen, you can travel outside of the U.S. for as long as you want without your citizenship being impacted. Additionally, as noted above, as a U.S. citizen, you can petition for a greater number of family members to obtain their lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
As this article explains, there are some differences between being a U.S. citizen and being a lawful permanent resident. Some of these differences are quite significant. If you have any questions about going through the process to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you may contact me directly.
My name is Michael Ashoori and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States. If you have any questions, feel free to call, text, or WhatsApp message my team at +1-818-741-1117. Or you may request a free consultation by clicking this link.
Share this post...
Michael Ashoori, Esq.
U.S. Immigration Lawyer
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.