There’s a lot to learn about the legal proceedings within the United States borders if you come from outside of the US. One of the things we recommend is to educate you on the difference between a green card and/or citizenship. In fact, this is a topic that some natural born United States citizens may need to brush up on, as the differences between these two statuses is important to know and understand.
You hear “green cards” talked about in the news, but what these important pieces of documentation are, a permanent residency status card. These are from people who have absolutely no interest in returning to their original country as they’ve put down roots and are intending to stay in the US for the long-term.
Green cards are given in a series of situations, including marriage to an American citizen, getting a sponsored job, refugee status or asylum, and more. This status implies that you are interested in staying in the US, living by and abiding by all laws within.
This status can be revoked, however, when a crime is committed among other things. While the name “permanent resident” seems solid and secure, legally – it is not permanent in the sense that you are still considered “foreign” because you aren’t a citizen. So, the government has the right to take the card away from you if there is a solid cause to do so.
If you decide to look at something like US citizenship, you will be considered the same as those born in the United States. When you are a US citizen it typically means that you have all of the rights and requirements as every other US citizen. You can vote in elections, petition to bring a family member to the US from another country (with priority status), run in an election, and apply for and receive a US passport, among other things
With the exception of very rare circumstances, a citizenship cannot be revoked once it has been granted, which can often give those who plan to dedicate their lives to living in the US, a sigh of relief when it has been given and approved. When you are an American citizen, you won’t be able to be deported, which is a huge difference from a green card should your status come into question at any point of having it.
You can see, then, that there is a difference between permanent residency and citizenship, from its security to its advantages. Both statuses are important to consider when you are interested in making a quality life for yourself, but you need to determine, too, which one is the right status for you to get for yourself and any loved ones.
Should you have any questions, please contact your immigration legal team at Valverde & Rowell in Virginia Beach at (757) 422-8472 as they can help with any of these applications.