Understanding Naturalization

To understand citizenship eligibility, we must first understand the slight differences between having U. S. citizenship and being a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The two terms are often misconstrued as synonymous, but there are a few differences in guaranteed rights between the two, and your responsibility is much greater as a LPR. Becoming an LPR is a stepping stone to becoming a U.S. citizen.

LPR Rights, Restrictions and Responsibilities

The terms "Lawful Permanent Resident" and "green card" often go hand and hand. A lawful permanent resident ("LPR") is a person who has been granted authorization to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Green cards are given to individuals who wish to live in the U.S. indefinitely as lawful permanent residents. As proof of their status as a lawful permanent resident they are given a permanent resident card, which is commonly called a "green card." Many lawful permanent residents are given authorization to work and live in the country indefinitely, but the word "indefinitely" doesn't mean your lawful permanent residency can't be taken away. If you leave the country for too long, seek permanent residence in another country, and/or commit certain crimes, immigration authorities have the right to revoke your LPR status. Long-term absences risk revocation of your green card, and your lawful permanent residency. Prior to any long-term absences you should discuss with an experienced immigration attorney how to request a reentry permit to avoid revocation of your lawful permanent residency. Although you are a resident of the U.S., you are technically a citizen of another country. Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections. As lawful permanent resident, you are not permitted to vote in U.S. elections.

So green cards sound like a handful, right? Bad news is you have to have one for a few years in order to qualify for citizenship, and naturalize. Good news is the Tellez Law Firm is here to help you through the steps of acquiring citizenship, revocation prevention, and defense in removal proceedings. To start discussing naturalization, we must first understand the process of becoming an LPR.

Qualifiers for obtaining a Green Card

Immediate family members of either a U.S. citizen or a fellow green card holder; this includes adopted children under the age of 16.

Employees possessing exceptional ability, bachelor's degrees or exceptionally skilled workers who have the capacity to benefit society by employment. The employment qualifier introduces researchers, professors and managers of international companies admittance, too.

Investors of certain monetary enterprise who have created at least five-ten jobs with their company and are an economical benefactor.

Special immigrants defined by former U.S. office/consulate/armed forces employees, agricultural workers, religious workers, and diplomats fearing persecution.

Refugees of war, famine and domestic unrest.

Asylum by definition to secure retreat. This identifier is for those individuals seeking to leave their country out of fear of persecution or have previously experienced oppression by their homeland.

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The goal of these qualifications is to enhance your life by giving you added rights to live and work in the United States, and to create a better America by your presence. Keep in mind, the Tellez Law Firm is here to walk you through the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident, and eventually applying for citizenship. We want to keep you well informed on the how-to's and ground breaking news on naturalization, but we're also here to defend you if things go awry. Next week, we'll further acquaint you with how to keep your green card.