A US Green Card, or Permanent Residency Card, affords its holder many of the same rights as those enjoyed by US citizens. Whether a Green Card is pursued through an employment-based route such as an EB-2 visa or EB-3 visa, or via a family based US immigration service for Spouse or Dependent immigration, permanent residents may live and work in the USA without restriction.
However, US citizenship brings a range of additional benefits and is an option to be considered for those who have been living and working in the USA as a permanent resident for long enough.
Visit the Global Visas online US immigration form now to find out whether you qualify and to begin your application.
The Benefits of US Citizenship
The most notable difference between the rights afforded to USA permanent residents and those with a grant of US citizenship is that United States citizens have the right to vote. Although both categories have the right to live and work in the USA, only citizens may play their part in influencing the democratic processes of the USA.
Citizenship offers the permanent right to reside in the United States, and unlike Permanent Residence, it cannot be revoked. Although permanent residence is designed to allow non-USA nationals to remain in the USA indefinitely, in cases where individuals spend too much time outside the USA their grant of permanent residency may actually be withdrawn. One of the key requirements of permanent residency is that the holder should view the United States as their home and this should be illustrated by spending the majority of their time there. Spending extended period outside the US may be viewed as abandoning the USA permanent resident status.
Permanent residents convicted of a crime may also be deported from the USA. The crime in question does not necessarily have to be a serious one to have this result. The only way to guarantee permanent and irrevocable residency in the United States is to naturalise as a US citizen.
United States citizens also benefit from a range of advantages which are not open to permanent residents. Many jobs in Government agencies, particularly those in defence and energy are open only to citizens and only citizens are permitted to run for political office.
Family Immigration – Sponsoring Relatives
Both US citizens and US permanent residents may sponsor their spouse or fiancé to join them in the USA, however, the range of opportunities to sponsor relatives for US Green Card applications is broader. US citizens may also sponsor parents or siblings to relocate to the United States, and only citizens may adopt non-USA born children through the IR-3 and IR-4 visas.
US Citizenship Eligibility
In order to apply for a grant of US citizenship all candidates must be over the age of 18 and they must have lived in the USA continuously for five years after being granted permanent residence in the US. However, where an applicant is married to a US citizen this period is reduced to three years.
Whether the residency period is three or five years, applicants must have spent at least half of this time physically residing in the United States and at least three months of this time must have been spent within the jurisdiction in which the citizenship application is being submitted.
All candidates who wish to apply for USA citizenship must have some proficiency in the English language and must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the history and Governmental make-up of the United States. Adhering to the principles of the US constitution is a fundamental perquisite for applications and applicants must be judged to be of good character.
Who Cannot Apply for US Citizenship?
Some groups of people are not permitted to apply for a grant of USA citizenship even if they are able to meet the requirements above. Anyone who is believed to hold, or to have held at any time views or ideological beliefs which threaten the United States will not qualify. In some cases, specific crimes which prevent an applicant from demonstrating good character will also result in disqualification.
You can find out whether you qualify for a grant of US citizenship now by visiting the Global Visas online assessment area. Just complete our straightforward assessment form and one of our immigration consultants will contact you.