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What are the Differences Between Being a Citizen and a Permanent Resident?

What are the Differences Between Being a Citizen and a Permanent Resident?

There are significant differences between citizenship and legal permanent resident status, so if you plan to remain in the United States permanently, you should educate yourself about the different types of legal status. This knowledge will enable you to make the decisions about whether to remain permanently in the United States. If you become a legal permanent resident, you receive a so-called “green card,” which allows you to legally live and work anywhere in the United States. Your green card serves as proof of your legal status while living in the U.S. Every ten years, your green card will expire and you will have to undergo a renewal process to maintain your legal permanent residency. It is permissible for you to travel abroad; however, if you remain outside of the U.S. for extended periods of time, you may jeopardize your permanent resident status. As a permanent resident, you do not have the right to vote in federal elections. You can, however, sponsor immediate relatives to come to the U.S. through the immigration process. On the other hand, an immigrant who goes through the naturalization process and becomes a U.S. citizen will be entitled to all the rights and benefits enjoyed by native U.S. citizens. Citizenship allows you to vote in federal elections, obtain a U.S. passport, and even if you remain outside the country for years, you will not lose your U.S. citizenship. As a citizen, you also can sponsor both immediate and non-immediate relatives for entry into the U.S. You no longer will need a green card, nor will you have to go through any type of renewal process. Citizenship and permanent residency are two different statuses that immigrants may seek to attain, but they are not available to all immigrants. We are dedicated to providing you with the essential legal representation that you need in this type of situation. We devote all of our efforts to advocating on behalf of you and your family before the immigration court. Don’t hesitate to contact the Bay Area immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., and set up your legal consultation today. We are here to help.

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