What are the advantages of Naturalization? Is it worth the trouble? Will I have to pay more taxes? Will I expose or jeopardize my permanent residence for something I did while I was a permanent resident?
ADVANTAGES OF CITIZENSHIP INCLUDE:
1. The right to vote. This should satisfy an individual’s need to actively participate in the choices a society needs to make to improve or resolve our country’s problems. If an individual is really engaged, he/she can run for public office to make a difference for local communities, cities, states or the federal government.
2. U.S. citizens have the right to bring their spouses, parents and minor children to the country immediately as well as fiance(e)s, and according to the quota single children over 21, married children and their spouses and minor children and citizen’s siblings.
3. If after acquiring citizenship, you have a criminal issue, you may not be deported because citizenship affords you the right to remain in the U.S. for the rest of your life.
4. Inheritance taxes are lower for spouses of citizens.
5. You may obtain a U.S. passport which would enable you to visit practically every country in the world. If you were to have a problem in a foreign land, you would be under the protection of the U.S.
6. For taxes you would be in no different a situation than a permanent resident that requires you to declare your worldwide income. You would be entitled to deductions for taxes paid abroad under tax treaties between the U.S. and most countries in Europe and many in Asia and South America.
7. If you have any fear of jeopardy to your permanent residence by filing for citizenship, it would be prudent to consult a lawyer before filing.
HOW DO I APPLY?
You need to apply to the United States Immigration Service if you have had permanent residence for five years, or if you are married to a U.S. citizen for 3 years and have had permanent residence for 3 years. You must be over 18 and be able to read, write and speak English. Your tax returns for 5 years or if married more than 3 years to a U.S. citizen and have had permanent residence for 3 years, then 3 years taxes must be exhibited at the interview.
If you have not filed taxes in this period, you need to explain why not. You must be able to answer a series of 10 questions about our Constitution, our government, and our history. For this we can provide you with the 100 questions and the answers that may be asked at the interview for you to study.
If you are over age 55 and have had permanent residence for 15 years, or if you are over 50 and have had permanent residence for over 20 years, then you are entitled to apply to take the exam in your own language, and to show that you can read, write and speak in your own language. Still you will be asked the questions about our Constitution, our government and our history, but in your own language.
If you need help or advise, call us at 212-944-9420.