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CITIZENSHIP

What You Need to Know About Citizenship

Never have the rights granted by citizenship to the United States been more important. Every week at Lehigh Immigration, we meet people who could have and should have obtained citizenship but put it off until a more convenient time. Often times the individual or his or her family sacrificed a great deal of effort an money to obtain residency but stopped at the door step to citizenship. They did not know that the goal of all immigration strategies should be citizenship. They did not know that a resident is still considered an “alien” who can be deported or denied entry into the United States. With the current administration, more and more people are learning this fact once it is too late to change.

Aside from the personal protection that you receive from obtaining residency, there are many other benefits as well. The following are a few of the benefits of citizenship over legal residency:


Citizen Legal Residency
A citizen may remain outside the United States indefinitely A legal resident may not remain outside the United States indifenitely and can lose his or residency by remaining outside of the United States for too long.
A citizen has more power to petition for family members to become legal residents of the United States including parents, siblings, fiances, and family members who overstayed their visa. A legal resident may only petition for children, spouses, and unmarried sons and daughters over 21 years of age. The spouse of a resident who remains beyond the permitted length allowed by their visa will not be permitted to adjust status.
The child of a citizen born abroad will often have U.S. citizenship automatically upon birth. The child of a legal resident born abroad will not have residency upon birth.
A citizen may vote. A legal resident may not vote.
A citizen cannot be deported A legal resident can be deported for a number of reasons.

Unfortunately, never has the path to citizenship been more guarded. Many applicants do not realize that by applying for this valuable status, they place their status of legal residency in the United States at risk. The government will closely scrutinize everything about your life and may ask questions you never thought relevant during your naturalization interview. This may not only lead to a rejection of your application for citizenship but also a revocation of your residency status. It is important to consult an experienced attorney before filing an application for U.S. citizenship.
At Lehigh Immigration, we focus exclusively on immigration issues and will gladly discuss the possibility of obtaining citizenship for you or a loved one. Call us for help.

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