Citizenship is the instrument for integration and full participation in the American society. Besides the important benefits we list below, becoming a U.S. citizen allows the immigrant to gain stability and a sense of belonging to his or her new country. Citizenship creates the well founded perception that our life, thoughts and opinions matter. The benefits that citizenship has when compared to permanent residency are important and include: the right to vote, the right to petition or sponsor relatives for permanent residence, the right to transfer U.S. citizenship to your children, the right to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation or losing this privilege because of frequent travel overseas or residence in another country, receiving the same traveling privileges that American citizens enjoy when visiting other countries (without requiring a visa in most cases), the protections afforded by the U.S. Foreign Service and the U.S. Government to American overseas, the right to run for public office and work for the Federal Government without the restrictions imposed on foreign nationals, estate tax benefits, the right to enjoy U.S. Government benefits such as social security, Medicaid and Medicare without the restrictions or caveats that often accompany the enjoyment of those benefits by permanent residents and refugees.
Naturalization requires an applicant to demonstrate good moral character, continued residence and physical presence in the United States for certain periods of time. These three requirements are difficult to meet for some applicants having prior law enforcement records in the U.S. or abroad, or who travel frequently or maintain second residences in other countries. WMR’s expertise in defending our client’s eligibility for naturalization is well proven with an excellent track record of successes, including many cases where it was not clear whether the applicant had the right to become a lawful permanent resident in the first place.
Often, U.S. born citizens or U.S. citizens that acquired citizenship at birth make their life in other countries and give birth to children abroad. In such cases, it may be necessary to assess whether or not these children born abroad qualify as U.S. citizens, and to demonstrate a U.S. citizen parent’s ability to convey U.S. citizenship. In addition, many U.S. citizens abroad may lose their U.S. citizenship status through acts of expatriation and wish to recover it. WMR’s knowledge of current and impending nationality and citizenship law, as well as our experience working with the U.S. Department of State’s issues involving reinstatement and recognition of U.S. citizenship, make WMR one of the most competent law firms representing individual in this complex area of immigration law.