+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

What is the difference between U.S. citizenship and permanent residency?

What is the difference between the two? Is it possible to also become a citizen after you become a permanent resident through the program? What are the conditions that are on the residency?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You must become a Permanent Resident before you could become a U.S. citizen. As an EB-5 investor, you will first become a conditional (temporary) permanent resident under I-526 approval and immigrant visa issuance for two year period. After 2 years, you will get that condition removed by filing and getting I-829 approved. If you are successful in removing the condition, you are qualified to apply for the citizenship after 5 years of receiving the initial permanent residency (based on I-526).

  • Avatar

    Olivia Orza

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Citizenship gives you the right to vote, the right to run for public office (politics), the right to apply for federal employment, the right to stay out of the country for as long as you want, it protects you from being deported in case of criminal prosecution, and allows you to file for a US Passport. As a permanent resident (green card holder) you can lose your green card if you spend more that 6 months/year out of the country. You can also be deported if you commit certain crimes.

  • Avatar

    Ekaterina Powell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Once your EB-5 application is approved, you may apply for permanent residency in the U.S. by either a procedure called adjustment of status if you are already in the U.S. in another status or through consular processing, which means that you will obtain your immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in your home country. As a permanent resident, you may legally live and work in the U.S. However, as a permanent resident you cannot enjoy the full rights of a U.S. citizen and you cannot vote or take a federal government job. There are also restrictions on international travel for permanent residents. Permanent residents are free to travel outside the United States, and temporary or brief travel usually does not affect your permanent resident status. If it is determined, however, that you did not intend to make the United States your permanent home, you will be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status. Absences for more than one year generally will lead to abandonment of permanent residence. Abandonment may be found to occur in trips of less than a year where it is believed you did not intend to make the United States your permanent residence. While brief trips abroad generally are not problematic, the officer may consider criteria such as whether your intention was to visit abroad only temporarily, whether you maintained U.S. family and community ties, maintained U.S employment, filed U.S. income taxes as a resident, or otherwise established your intention to return to the United States as your permanent home. As a permanent resident, you are still considered an "alien" under immigration law and may be deported for certain crimes. You may eventually become a U.S. citizen if you go through EB-5 program.You may be eligible to become a U.S. citizen five years after getting your green card. Once you become a U.S. citizen, you will no longer have restrictions on international travel. In addition, you will be eligible to apply for federal jobs, vote, and obtain certain federal scholarship and government benefits.

  • Avatar

    Marjan Kasra

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A US Resident is one who holds a Green Card. By virtue of having a Green Card, you are considered a Permanent Resident, and you would have to comply with certain residency requirements to keep your green card. The main rule of thumb is for you to reside in US soil for a minimum of 6-months in a given year, or you would risk losing your green card; now there are things we can do to ask US government for authorization to allow you to stay out of US for longer than that based on your family, business, health, etc, but you would have to consult an attorney and take proactive measures so as to protect you and your family''s residency in US. After having lived here for a minimum of 6 months for five CONSECUTIVE years, you qualify to apply for US Citizenship. You are asking good questions and should definitely consult a qualified US Attorney. I''d be happy to schedule a consultation with you.

  • Avatar

    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A legal permanent resident is authorized to reside and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. That status can be abandoned if the individual does not maintain proper ties and residence in the U.S. U.S. Citizenship provides additional rights, privileges and duties not accorded to legal permanent residents. For example, a U.S. citizen may vote in elections and would not abandon their status for not maintaining ties/residence in the U.S. A foreign national needs to obtain and maintain legal permanent residence status for a five year period (3 years if status based on marriage to U.S. citizen) before the individual will be eligible for U.S. citizenship.

  • Avatar

    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A US citizen gets to vote, gets a US passport, and cannot be deported. A permanent resident does not get a US passport, cannot vote in US elections, and can be deported. Generally, once a person is a lawful permanent resident for 5 years, they may file for US citizenship.

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The investor has to be a permanent resident for 5 years before they can apply to become a US citizen. The years start counting from the issuance of the Conditional Permanent Residency.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Lawful permanent residency in the United States refers to a person''s immigration status. A lawful permanent resident is authorized to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis without restrictions. In contrast, a US citizenship is the ultimate benefit a person may acquire in the United States which entails many important specific rights, privileges, and duties not otherwise available to lawful permanent residents, including but not limited to, the right to acquire a US passport, the right to vote, the right to hold public office, or the right to obtain certain federal jobs. With certain exceptions, US citizenship can be acquired by birth or naturalization, a process by which an immigrant applies for US citizenship and is accepted if he or she meets specific requirements. EB-5 investor program specifically allows an EB-5 investor to receive a conditional green card which is a temporary green card valid for 2 years. An EB-5 investor is required to apply for a removal of conditions on his or her permanent residence within 90 days before the expiration of 2 years from the date on his or her conditional green card. When conditions are removed, an EB-5 investor and his immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under age 21) are given permanent green cards. The rights and privileges granted by either a conditional or a permanent green card are otherwise the same. An EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for US citizenship in 4 years and 9 months from the date of the initial grant of the conditional permanent residence in the United States.

  • Avatar

    Jennifer Parser

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    US citizenship is the right to be a US national and vote. It also carries with some important tax benefits for which permanent resident, known also as green card holders, do not qualify. You can become a US citizen after being a permanent resident for five years, unless permanent residency was acquired through marriage to a US citizen, in which case you only have to wait for three years. A permanent resident must live in the US and pay US taxes. They may travel outside the US and live part of the year abroad but must return annually to the US with the intent to live there permanently.

  • Avatar

    Mona Shah

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    As a permanent resident, you are not a US citizen, and will not have a US passport or have the right to vote, amongst other differences. You must be a permanent resident for 5 years before you can file for citizenship. In order to apply for US Citizenship, it does not matter how you obtained your green card (permanent resident card).

  • Avatar

    Charles H Kuck

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Becoming a citizen requires you to be a permanent resident for 5 years first.

  • Avatar

    Anthony Ravani

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You MUST be a Permanent Resident for 5 years so you would qualify to apply and become a USA Citizen. If you are married to a USA Citizen when you become a Permanent Resident, then after 3 years you can apply to become a USA Citizen.

  • Avatar

    Clem Turner

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Permanent residence allows you to reside in the US and legally work.Citizenship bestows all rights of a US Citizen, including the right to vote.

  • Avatar

    Neville M Leslie

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can apply for citizenship once you have been a resident for 5 years. Citizenship will give you a US passport, the right to vote, and, for the most part, is irrevocable. The conditions on the residency are removed after 2 years if the regional center has met it''s requirements and you have not violated any laws or requirements.

  • Avatar

    Larry J Behar, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Residency through the EB 5 program is acquired in two stages: first a conditional residency for two years and then the lifting of the conditions which will make the residency full time. It is a track to becoming a US citizen with full voting rights after five years.

  • Avatar

    Boyd Campbell

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A citizen may vote in elections and qualify for and hold public office. A permanent resident may not.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.