Have you ever considered becoming a United States citizen? Many people qualify to become a citizen, but they tend to wait a long time to send their application. It may be due to laziness or because they have some doubts they have yet to resolve. More often than I would like, I have heard the phrase, “I should have applied to become a citizen before, I should not have waited so long.”
In our experience, one of the questions we are asked more is, what are the benefits of becoming a United States citizen? And the answer is, very many, and I will mention some of these. To begin with, a United States citizen has the right to vote. For those people who would like for their voice to be heard, this is one way in which they can be involved in the process for change not just in your local community but in the whole country.
Another benefit of being a United States citizen is the ability to travel outside of the country for the time necessary, without restrictions or fears of losing your lawful permanent resident status. We have represented many people who are in deportation proceedings due to having travelled outside of the country as lawful permanent residents, and remaining out for too long without obtaining a travel permit prior to leaving. This process is referred to as “abandonment of residency,” but we will discuss this subject in more detail in another blog. The point is, as a citizen, you do not have to worry about asking for any permissions before travelling nor of the time that you will remain out, and that is a great relief since you will save yourself not only from headaches but also the costs for the permits and other costs such as legal representation and the time that these processes can take.
Additionally, a very important point to remember is that a lawful permanent resident is at risk of losing his or her residency not just for abandonment, but also if he or she becomes involved in a legal issue that is related to certain serious crimes. Although we would like to think that we will never be involved in a criminal problem, the majority of the cases we handle where a person is at risk of losing his or her residency is due to having been in the wrong place at the wrong time and that is very unfortunate.
Let us keep in mind that if we want to live in this country for many years and we want to be sure that we will not be involved in deportation proceedings in the future, we should take the necessary steps to apply for citizenship if we meet all of the requirements. Whatever you decide to do, we are here to help you and to guide you in case you have more questions regarding this very important process.