Citizenship vs Green Card Permanent Resident - US Citizenship Benefits
Many green card holders to not know that applying for US citizenship is a relatively simple process and can bring additional benefits while living in the USA. In this video our immigration attorney discusses US Citizenship vs Green Card and the US Citizenship benefits. You can call 407-910-4770 to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer.
This video is intended for education purposes and should not be taken as legal, financial or tax advice. You should consult with a professional about your unique situation before acting on anything discussed in these videos. Freedomtax Accounting and Multiservices Inc., Freedom Insurance Financial Inc., Freedom Realty Source Inc., and Freedom Immigration International Inc. are providing educational content to help small business owners and individuals become more aware of certain issues and topics, but we cannot give blanket advice to a broad audience. Freedomtax Accounting and Multiservices Inc., Freedom Insurance Financial Inc., Freedom Realty Source Inc., and Freedom Immigration International Inc. or its members cannot be held liable for any use or misuse of this content.
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When a Foreign starts an US immigration process, the goal usually is to get a green card or become a US citizen. Now, which one is better, the green card or being a US citizen? That’s what we are going to talk about in this video.
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Now, here at Freedom group we have a division called Freedom Immigration, and most of the immigration visas that we work for our clients are, rather they are planning to get a green card or become a US citizen; obviously they have advantages and disadvantages. To talk about this topic, we are going to bring our immigration attorney Robert.
Carlos H: Robert, how are you?
Robert M: Good Carlos, how are you?
Carlos H: Good. Robert is our immigration attorney here at Freedom Immigration. So, Robert, obviously people when they come to the US and start any type of immigration process, they always want to get a green card or become US citizens. Basically, what’s the difference between getting a green card and becoming US citizens?
Robert M: Well, when you get your green card you become a legal permanent resident, which means you can live anywhere in the US, you can also work for any employer, and you can start your own business. However, you do have to renew your green card every 10 years to stay in status, and there are certain things that can put your green card at risk. By contrast, as a US citizen you get the same rights as you do have a legal permanent resident, but your status is much more secure, you cannot lose your citizenship for any criminal violations, which they are certain exception like terrorism or treason charges which are not very common; and you can also sponsor more people that you could with a green card.
Carlos H: Then, is there any disadvantage of having a green card compared to being a US citizen?
Robert M: Well, there is no disadvantage of being a US citizen, but when you are in green card holder there are a couple of things that can put your green card in jeopardy; like if you move and you fail to notify and you fail to notify your change of address, you could lose mails and then not be able to register to your new green card. If you stay out of the country for a prolonged period of time you can also lose your status. If you commit certain criminal activities, you can also lose your green card. And then also the fact that you have to renew it every 10 years, if you miss your renewals then you could get out of status and also lose your green card.
Carlos H: And what are the main benefits of being a US citizen compared to having a green card?
Robert M: Well, the main one is that your status is much more secure; you can also vote in election; you can also run for any political office; you can participate in democratic process; you can also spend as much time as you want in or out of the United State and it does not affect your status, and you can also sponsor more family members. If you have a green card, you can only sponsor children under 21, and spouses; meanwhile, US citizens can petition any of their children whether they are single or married, under or over 21, they can sponsor their parents, and of course they can also sponsor their spouse, but they also can sponsor their brother and sisters; that’s another benefit.
The only cost additional is, when you are renewing your green card, you are spending a little more than $500 every 10 years; for citizenship you are paying $725, as long as you pass the test the first time, then you don’t have to do any more expenses for the USCIS and immigration.
The test is currently 10 questions out of a hundred that they ask you. It’s in English language unless you are a certain age in which case then you can opt to take the test in your own language.
Carlos H: So, basically if someone has a green card, the process of transitioning over to a US citizen it’s a very simple process.
Robert M: You file one form, it’s called the N-400, and then they schedule you for a test and an interview. The test, like I said, is 10 questions out of a hundred, it’s based on US history, and the interview is really just to prove that you can speak English.
Carlos H: Okay. And the test is in English?
Robert M: Correct, unless you are a certain edge, if you are a specific age and you have been resident for a long time, you do have the option to take the test in your own language.
There are also some waivers based on like health reasons that you could weigh from having to take the test.
Carlos H: And you said that there is a $700 dollars fee to apply for citizenship?
Robert M: $725 dollars is the current fee to apply for citizenship.
Carlos H: Okay. So, basically anyone who has a green card should at least start thinking about upgrading to become a US citizen. It’s a very simple process, there are a lot more benefits. How long does it take the transition from a green card to getting your citizenship?
Robert M: If you got it through marriage, you have to be married for 3 years and be a green card holder for 3 years to then be able to apply. If you get your green card any other way, once you have been a green card holder for 5 years you can then apply for citizenship. The process itself takes about a year.
Carlos H: Okay. So, it’s pretty simple?
Robert M: Yes.
Carlos H: Okay. So, Robert, if someone wants to get a green card, if someone wants to start the citizenship process, what do they need to do?
Robert M: Call Freedom Immigration at 407-910-4770.
Carlos H: Perfect. So, now you know, if you want to get a green card call Freedom Immigration. I’m going to put a link to their website in the description of this video. If you already have a green card, you should start considering transitioning over to become a US citizen, so you can take advantage of other benefits of being here in the US.
Thank you for watching this video, we hope you have received valuable information out of this video, if you have, please like and share it with another person that can take advantage of this information.
Thank you for watching this video and God bless you.