green card vs. U.S. Citizenship
Green Card FAQ
green card vs. U.S. Citizenship FAQ
Ultimately, many of our clients desire to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders) or U.S. Citizens. Each status carries its own benefits. Here we will address the more common questions we hear in our practice from newgreen cardholders and naturalized U.S. Citizens.
Do I need a work permit?
green card holders and U.S. Citizens do not need a work permit to work legally in the U.S. As agreen cardholder or U.S. Citizen you can prove your ability to work lawfully in the U.S. by showing an unrestricted Social Security card and your unexpired permanent resident card, US passport, or naturalization certificate, as applicable.
Do I need a travel permit to travel outside of the U.S.?
green card holders and U.S. Citizen do NOT need a travel permit, please see below for further details as applicable:
green card holders: In general, to travel to another country you will need to present a passport from your country ofCitizenshipor your refugee travel document, and you will need to present a valid, unexpiredgreen cardto return to the U.S. You must also pay attention to whether the foreign country you are visiting has any additional entry/exit requirements (such as a visa).
Note that asgreen cardholder you may be found to have abandoned your status as a lawful permanent resident if you spend too long abroad or otherwise indicate that your travel abroad is not of a brief or temporary nature. Please see our prior post on that topic.
U.S. Citizens: As a U.S. Citizen, you can travel abroad with your U.S. Passport. U.S. Citizens can remain abroad without restrictions and without fear of losing their U.S. Citizenship.
Can I vote?
green card holders CANNOT vote. Only U.S. Citizens can vote.
Do I have to file taxes?
Yes! Filing taxes as required is mandatory for bothgreen cardholders and U.S. Citizens. Others in temporary status who work in the U.S. are also required to file taxes.
Can I ever be deported?
green card holders can lose theirgreen cardstatus and face deportation. A common reason agreen cardholder can be deported is for certain criminal convictions. U.S. citizens, provided there was no fraud in obtaining the U.S. citizenship, do not need to fear deportation.
Can I be a dual citizen?
Generally, you can keep your home country’sCitizenshipeven if you become a U.S. Citizen. Some countries however, do not allow dual citizenship. Please contact us at (916) 613-3553 to schedule a consultation so that we can advise you as to your specific situation.
If you are interested in becoming a lawful permanent resident (getting your green card) or becoming a U.S. Citizen we encourage you to contact us at (209) 219-2377 to discuss your options. We can schedule a meeting at our offices inSacramentoor Stockton or we can meet telephonically or via Skype if you are not in the area.
We are available for all of yourimmigrationneeds.