US Citizenship Is More Important Than Ever

From Jamaican media but expect this advice is widespread:

Now more than ever it is important to become a US citizen. US citizenship offers many protections and advantages. The current Trump administration is focused on enforcement of immigration laws.   This means more and more non-citizens are vulnerable to being removed from the United States.   Being removed can well mean that you will never be able to return to the United States as a visitor or an immigrant.

If you are a legal permanent resident (LPR) you should consult with a qualified immigration attorney about becoming a US citizen.   Generally, to qualify for US citizenship you must be an LPR for five years or if you acquired LPR status through marriage to a US citizen, then three years. You must also be a person of good moral character, generally meant to mean you have not been convicted of a crime.  You do not owe Federal income taxes which are delinquent and unpaid.  You do not owe child support or alimony that is delinquent or unpaid.  You have not been outside the US for more than six months in a calendar year in any of the five- or three-years preceding application for citizenship.  You can read write and speak the English language and you can pass a US government history test.   If you are a male, you registered for Selective Service and you are attached to the principles of the US constitution.   Please note this brief summary of the eligibility requirements is not exhaustive but does cover important requirements.

Being a US citizen allows you the protection of being outside the US for an unlimited amount of time, without any consequences.  As a US citizen you can apply for and hold high paying jobs of national importance to the US.  Being a US citizen means you are not subject to removal from the US for any criminal convictions that occur after you obtain US citizenship, unless you committed the crime before you became a US citizen.   Being a US citizen also makes worldwide travel much easier as US citizens may travel to many counties without a visa.

Because the current Trump Administration is enforcement oriented before you decide to apply for US citizenship you must consult with a qualified immigration attorney and discuss your eligibility in confidence with an immigration attorney.  Do not apply for US citizenship without first having a consultation with a qualified immigration attorney.   I have represented many individuals who have become US citizens and would welcome the chance to consult with you and represent you.


About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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