Citizenship and Naturalization

If you already have a green card and permanent residency, why worry about citizenship?

Obviously, if you become a citizen you’ll have the right to vote and hold public office.  But the less obvious reasons are arguably more important–a green card holder can be deported.  A DUI or other mistake can lead to deportation, along with the loss of job, separation from family, and everything else that comes with deportation.  Even just leaving the U.S. for a period of time can result in the loss of a green card.  Citizenship, on the other hand, cannot be taken away, as long as you legally acquired that citizenship.

U.S. citizens are also better able to sponsor family for green cards.  More of your relatives will be able to get green cards, and faster, if you are a citizen.

Most people are eligible for citizenship five years after receiving a green card.  Spouses of U.S. citizens are typically eligible just three years after receiving a green card.  Refugees and asylees may be able to get citizenship more quickly.

In order to become a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to pass a background check, be able to read, write, and understand English, pass a civic exam (focused on U.S. history and government), take an oath of allegiance, and meet additional criteria.  Of course, you’ll also need to fill out Form N-400, and you’ll need to pay the filing fee.

As the process can be complicated, your Idaho Falls immigration attorney can walk you through the steps and can make sure you do everything you need to in order to successfully become a U.S. citizen.