Becoming a citizen of the United States can be an exciting opportunity. However, there are several ways non-citizens can come to the United States permanently, or for a temporary stay. A United States Citizen and a Permanent Resident are similar, but there are different requirements and steps one must take to achieving either status.
A citizen is a legally recognized subject or national of a country. United States citizens are eligible for benefits depending on their age, including but not limited to:
A person may become a United States citizen in many ways. The four common ways to obtain U.S. citizenship are through naturalization, dual citizenship/nationality, citizenship by birth, or citizenship through acquisition.
A permanent lawful resident of the United States is a person who has been granted the right to live in the United States permanently and indefinitely. Permanent lawful residents are given a green card authorizing them to work and live in the United States, as well as the right to petition for other family members to join them under temporary visa in the United States.
Permanent residents remain citizens of another country upon gaining the lawful permanent resident status. When traveling, it is important to carry your passport and green card with you. Permanent lawful residents who have left the United States for more than a year may have difficulty re-entering and keeping that status.
A green card is a permanent resident card for anyone who has been granted the right to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. While green cards are typically sponsored by a family member or an employer in the United States, Green Cards are not equivalent to United States citizenship. People seeking green cards can also obtain them by refugee or asylee status. For more information on green card sponsorship from a family member, employer, or special immigrant status, contact the attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. or visit the USCIS green card eligibility categories.
To apply for a green card, an immigrant petition and green card application (Form I-485) must be filled out and submitted. Typically, someone must file the initial petition for you. This person will likely be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
Your next steps when applying for a green card will depend on your location. If you are in the United States, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status with USCIS. If you are outside of the United States, visit the United States Department of State Consular Processing page.
The general application process to apply for a green card varies depending on your individual circumstances. As an overview, the steps are as follows:
For additional information on applying for a green card, contact the attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. or visit the USCIS.
As a green card holder, there are many benefits available to you. Green card holders can:
As a United States citizen, there are many benefits available to you. Common benefits for U.S. citizens are:
Despite green card holders having limitations that U.S. citizens may not, there are several benefits that both have in common. Green card holders and US.. citizens can:
Additionally, both green card holders and United States citizens are required to file federal and state income tax returns.
At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we provide individuals and families with the legal representation they need. Our legal team has over seven decades of combined experience to assist you or your loved one through the process of obtaining citizenship, or lawful permanent resident status in the United States. For more information on obtaining U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, contact a member of our legal team at 312.444.1940.View Similar Articles